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Boos & Applause

Applause to the Philip Barbour Colts boys basketball squad, who won the program’s first ever state tournament game this week, pulling out a dramatic 57-56 first-round win over Bluefield. Cole Whited scored 27 points and set a new state tournament record during the game by shooting a perfect 13 of 13 from the floor. The Colts fell in the second round to top-seeded Fairmont Senior, but they and all the Philip Barbour supporters out there should be very proud of what they accomplished.

Applause to the two local residents who were honored by the annual awards dinner of the Randolph Lodge No. 116 and Delphia Rebekah Lodge No. 62 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Elizabeth Marshall MacVean was recognized as the 2017 Good Samaritan of the Year award for the creation of the local backpack food program, which is offered in every Randolph County school. Vallie Goots, 92, was honored as the order’s Humanitarian of the Year as she has accumulated 7,938 volunteer hours at Davis Medical Center and dedicated time to General Federation of Women’s Club and church services.

Applause to the highly unusual event of two West Virginia universities playing each other in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. That’s exactly what will happen Sunday as WVU and Marshall will face off in a second-round game. Whichever team you root for, this is a historic moment for West Virginia athletics that should provide some tremendous March Madness excitement.

Applause to the completion of the new water tank at the Victoria Hill service station in Buckhannon. The newly completed tank will provide 600,000 gallons of additional storage capacity to water system, and will allow the city’s Water Department to meet increased demand from development and business activity in the Buckhannon area. The new water tank cost $730,000 and was financed through municipal bonds, according to Buckhannon Finance Director Amby Jenkins. The new tank has a capacity of 1.2 million gallons, but with the tank at St. Joseph’s Hospital recently decommissioned, the net increase for the water system is 600,000 gallons for a total system storage of 4.6 million gallons, city officials said.

Applause to the Washington District Volunteer Fire Company in Upshur County, which has been awarded funding from the West Virginia Division of Forestry, which will go toward better equipping its firefighters and maintaining the safety of its community. Through the approved Volunteer Fire Assistance grant, the fire company received $1,442.58. With the awarded funds, the company will be able to purchase a new chain saw, along with chaps, helmets, ear protectors, and a forestry hose for brush fires and a nozzle to go with the new hose.

Boo to whoever or whatever was responsible for the collapse of a pedestrian bridge under construction near Florida International University, which killed six people and crushed cars. The collapse Thursday of the structure’s 950-ton main span came just five days after it had just been installed, using an accelerated construction process meant in part to reduce the time that street traffic was halted. This tragedy could have been prevented, and we trust authorities will discover exactly what went wrong.

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