Boos & Applause

Applause to the small army of volunteers who have worked so hard to bring us the West Virginia Strawberry Festival this week. Along with all the ceremonies, events, performances and parades, on Wednesday, the City of Buckhannon paid tribute to former police chief Fred Gaudet, who died while he was police chief in 1999, during the third annual Webb Grubb Police Recognition Day held at the Buckhannon Safety Complex.

Applause to Joe Drenning, the retiring mayor of Davis, who was named the 2019 Tuckineer during the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce’s 41st annual chamber awards on Thursday at Canaan Valley Resort.

Applause to the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department and the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management, who sponsored a tabletop exercise this week for emergency service officials to practice enacting plans of response in the event of a pandemic influenza epidemic. At the event on Tuesday, held at the Health Department offices, a scenario was described to participants that represented the stages of a pan flu outbreak: one month, two weeks, one week and one day before, and the day of the outbreak. Participants were then encouraged to consider the issues concerning the various stages alongside the role their departments could take in identifying the illness, identifying the key issues related to their fields, and preparing the public through the distribution of information.

Applause to the West Virginia University College of Law Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, which offered its fourth annual Mountain State Land Use Academy on Wednesday at Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center. In a speech titled “Revitalizing Rural Communities, keynote speaker John Robert Smith, chair of Transportation for America and policy advisor for Smart Growth America, gave local government representatives insight on how to improve small towns in ways that will allow them to thrive in the future. Due to his own experience and success in reviving communities in rural areas, Smith asserted that the situations of small, declining cities are not hopeless.

Applause to the first community accessible AED defibrillator being placed outside the public women’s restroom at the Upshur County Courthouse on Chancery Street, according to committee chair Maria Potter. One each will be placed at Jawbone Park and at the walk trail by the public restrooms. Each of the AEDs will sound an alarm when opened and the box at the walk trail will be accessed by a code given when the caller calls 911. Buckhannon Fire Chief J.B. Kimble brought the HEARTSafe program back to the Buckhannon Fire Department and began a committee of community members, Upshur County EMS, firefighters, Upshur County E-911 Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital representatives to create a HEARTSafe community.