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  • Greenbrier Journal

    Welcome to the Greenbrier Journal. We are a news publishing business located right here in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Our mission is simple: to cover local news and politics. Signing up is completely FREE, so get started today.

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    Greenbrier Journal News Articles
    • Business News

      GreenbrierJournal

      WV Inflatables, a beloved local business known for providing top-notch inflatable rentals, is thrilled to announce a change in ownership. Billy and the team are passing the torch to Jeremiah Whitlow as they prepare to welcome their third child and embrace a slower pace of life.
      "We are so incredibly thankful for the customer base we have and the support we have received since the very beginning," said Billy. The decision to step back comes as they prioritize family time during this special season.
      Jeremiah Whitlow will take over as the new owner of WV Inflatables. Known for his dedication and vision, Jeremiah plans to expand the business and serve a wider area, continuing the legacy of excellent service that customers have come to expect.
      All existing reservations will be honored, and the contact number for inquiries and bookings remains unchanged at (304) 667-2654. Jeremiah encourages all customers to reach out with any questions or rental needs as the transition takes place.
      "We know you guys will help make this happen," Billy added, expressing confidence in the community's continued support under the new leadership.
      Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments from WV Inflatables as Jeremiah Whitlow takes the helm!

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    • State News

      GreenbrierJournal

      Governor Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice led a series of West Virginia Day celebrations, from the State Capitol in Charleston to Independence Hall in Wheeling, marking the state's 161st birthday with a variety of events that highlighted the state's rich heritage and community spirit.
      "I’m honored to celebrate West Virginia's 161st birthday surrounded by so many great people," Gov. Justice said. "We have so much to be proud of in the Mountain State. The world is catching on to all the greatness West Virginia offers. It truly is the greatest state to live, work, and raise a family. I am beyond proud of what we have accomplished together, and I know the future for West Virginia will be just as bright."
      State Capitol Mural Dedication
      The day began with the dedication of four new murals in the Capitol rotunda. These artworks depict significant scenes from West Virginia's history, including the Battle of Philippi, the Shiveree of Seneca Rock, Harpers Ferry in 1859, and the West Virginia State Seal. Additional murals are being installed and are expected to be completed by November 2024.
      "Our State Capitol is already one of the most stunning in the nation, and today, with these new murals, it's even more beautiful," Gov. Justice said. "I've always said that the arts are at the heart and soul of West Virginia—they're a part of who we are. These beautiful murals tell our story, showcasing our rich history and what makes our state truly special."
      During the ceremony, the West Virginia Ambassadors campers sang the National Anthem and "West Virginia Hills," and Brody Hammers, a student from Cabell Midland High School, performed "Take Me Home, Country Roads" on the piano.
      West Virginia Hot Dog Sauce Contest
      Following the mural dedication, First Lady Cathy Justice announced the winner of the West Virginia Birthday Hot Dog Sauce Contest at the West Virginia Culture Center. Paige Toney of Grantsville won with her recipe, 'Calhoun Band Booster,' a beloved sauce used for decades to raise funds for the Calhoun County High School band.
      “Our hot dog sauce contest had a tremendous response,” First Lady Justice said. “What’s more West Virginian than a great tasting chili to put on your hot dog? There were some really unique recipes along with more traditional ones, and they were fun to read through. I hope everyone enjoys the hot dogs, punch, and cake today!”
      The event also featured the West Virginia Hot Dog Guys, Jay Silverman and Joel Bennett, who were honored with a proclamation declaring July as West Virginia Hot Dog Month.
      As part of the festivities, First Lady Justice cut the official West Virginia Blackberry Walnut cake and served it with the signature Mountain Mama fruit punch. Attendees had the chance to sign an extra-large West Virginia Birthday Card on display.
      Toney received a $500 gift card and an honorary first-place certificate. Her recipe was chosen from three finalists, judged by a panel including the First Lady, Gov. Justice, Chief of Staff to the First Lady Vicki Shannon, Liaison to the First Lady Joslyn Barnhart, WV Governor's Mansion Executive Chef K.D. Jones, and Cabinet Secretary Randall Reid-Smith.
      Second and third place went to Selina Burke's "Smiley Face Chili" from Charleston and Miriam Weber's "Homestead Venison Maple Medley" from Green Bank, winning $300 and $100 gift cards respectively. All finalist recipes will be posted on First Lady Cathy Justice's Facebook page.
      Arthur I. Boreman Statue Unveiling
      The day's events concluded with the unveiling of a statue honoring Arthur I. Boreman, West Virginia's first governor, at Independence Hall in Wheeling. Boreman, who served from 1863 to 1869, was instrumental in navigating the state through the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. The statue commemorates his leadership and the unique circumstances of West Virginia's statehood during the Civil War.
      “Today is such a great day for all West Virginians, and I hope everyone had a chance to celebrate accordingly,” Gov. Justice said. “We are so blessed to have four incredible seasons and the greatest people on the planet. It’s been a real honor to be your Governor. Thank you for all you do, West Virginia.”
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    • State News

      GreenbrierJournal

      On June 18, 2024, Governor Jim Justice announced the awarding of $5,532,553.00 through the West Virginia Community Corrections Grant program to fund 30 projects across the state. These grants aim to support the establishment and continued operation of community corrections programs, offering the judicial system alternatives to institutional custody for offenders requiring lesser sentencing.
      Administered by the Justice and Community Services (JCS) Section of the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services (DAS), the program empowers local communities to develop and maintain these correctional alternatives.
      Greenbrier County Highlight
      Greenbrier County Commission received $270,000.00 to support its community corrections program. This funding will be instrumental in maintaining and enhancing the county’s efforts to provide effective correctional alternatives and support local judicial processes.
      Key Grant Awards to Other Counties
      Berkeley County Commission: $244,000.00 Logan County Commission: $475,000.00 for Logan, Boone, Lincoln, and Mingo Counties. Marshall County Commission: $300,000.00 for Marshall, Brooke, Hancock, Ohio, Tyler, and Wetzel Counties. Harrison County Commission: $100,000.00 Jefferson County Commission: $155,000.00 Kanawha County Commission: $155,000.00 Marion County Commission: $120,000.00 Mercer County Commission: $287,500.00 Monongalia County Commission: $197,893.00 Raleigh County Commission: $192,277.00 Summers County Commission: $161,962.00 for Summers and Monroe Counties. Additional Funding Awards
      West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services: $150,000.00 for a statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) project coordinator. West Virginia CASA Association: $100,000.00 to support resources, assistance, and technical support to 10 local CASA programs across the state. These grants reflect the state’s commitment to providing effective alternatives to incarceration, promoting rehabilitation, and ensuring public safety. The full list of grant awards underscores the widespread impact of this initiative, which reaches every corner of West Virginia.
      For more information on the West Virginia Community Corrections Grant program and its impact on local communities, visit the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services website.
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    • Entertainment News

      GreenbrierJournal

      Carnegie Hall’s three rotating galleries feature regional artists for May and June in the Old Stone Room (ground floor), Lobby Gallery (Hamilton Auditorium), and Museum Gallery (adjacent to the Auditorium). 
      Rachel Dennison’s “Foothills & Folklore” is featured in the Lobby Gallery. Rachel is a creator living in wild and wonderful West Virginia. She has lived in her old farmhouse with her wife, Sarah, for years now. She left the city for the edge of the woods to bring her closer to both her family and the natural world.
      Her work focuses on the intersection of everyday and surreal. She creates whimsical paintings often focusing on personal growth and societal issues, described through natural elements. Growing up in a remote area, she quickly learned that having a vivid imagination made for more exciting adventures.  
      The exhibits are free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, please visit carnegiehallwv.org, call (304) 645-7917, or stop by the Hall at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg, WV. 
      Carnegie Hall programs are presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
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    • Entertainment News

      Carnegie Hall continues its 2024 Ivy Terrace Concert Series Thursday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m. with Elements Of Us. Sponsored by City National Bank, the concert takes place outside on Carnegie Hall’s Ivy Terrace as attendees watch from the expansive lawn in front of New River Community and Technical College. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and pack a picnic to enjoy live music. All Ivy Terrace concerts are free, open to the public, and alcohol free.
      Elements of Us is an independent alternative pop group based out of Lewisburg, West Virginia. The band has three members: Koley Bolen, Tyler Keatley, and Jesse Gilbert. The members have been best friends for many years and have been writing and producing music together for the past three years.
      Currently, the band is finishing up a series of albums set to be released throughout 2024 and will be touring later this year.
      Greenbrier Dairy’s Cow Licks Dessert Trailer and Kitchen 304 will be vending on location. 
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    • Local News

      The annual Ronceverte River Festival kicked off with great enthusiasm over the weekend, starting with a lively parade on Friday evening. The festival, held at Ronceverte Island Park, promised a range of activities and did not disappoint.
      The festivities began with the grand parade, which saw a vibrant display of floats and local organizations showcasing their community spirit. Spectators lined the streets, cheering as the parade made its way through the town.
      Saturday saw the much-anticipated rubber ducky race, which turned into an unexpected hour-long ordeal. Low river levels and little wind left most of the rubber duckies stranded, much to the amusement and patience of the onlookers. Despite the slow race, the event was a hit with attendees, who eagerly watched and cheered for the floating competitors.

      The evening was a highlight, with a performance by The Weekend Warriors setting the stage. Their energetic show was followed by country music star Andy Griggs, who delivered a stellar performance that captivated the audience. The night was capped off with a stunning fireworks display, lighting up the sky and leaving festival-goers in awe.
      A poignant moment unfolded backstage when Andy Griggs met Big Al for the first time in the VIP tent. Earlier in the week, the two had shared an emotional radio interview on 103.5 The Bear, where they talked about brotherly love and their personal losses. Both had experienced the tragic loss of a brother, with Big Al’s brother having died in a helicopter crash in recent years. Similarly, Griggs’ brother Mason, who was his hero and musical inspiration, passed away at 21 due to heart complications he had since birth. Mason, who had taken up the baton of music after their father’s death from a brain tumor when Andy was just 11, left an indelible mark on Andy’s life. Griggs often credits Mason for instilling in him a deep love for music and the courage to pursue it professionally. Their heartfelt reunion backstage, marked by a hug, was a touching prelude to Griggs’ powerful performance later that evening.

      The festival continued throughout the weekend with various activities for all ages. Early risers participated in the Fishing Derby on Saturday morning, while the fun run saw enthusiastic participants racing along the scenic route. Car enthusiasts and pet owners showcased their prized possessions at the car show and pet parade, respectively. Kids enjoyed various games and the popular Duck Coloring Contest. The unique activity of Irish road bowling attracted many participants, and Skyler’s Magic Show entertained both children and adults with mesmerizing tricks.
      Andy Griggs’ performance was one of the highlights of the festival. Known for his soulful music, Griggs has a rich history in the industry. Raised in Monroe, LA, his influences range from Jerry Lee Lewis to hardcore rock ‘n’ roll. Griggs moved to Nashville in 1995, and his journey through music has been marked by personal loss and professional success. After Mason’s untimely death, Andy found solace and strength in music, which became his emotional outlet and a way to honor his brother’s memory. His breakthrough came with RCA, where he produced several hits, including “You Won’t Ever Be Lonely.” Today, Griggs continues to write and produce his music, striving to connect with his audience on a deeper level and keeping Mason’s legacy alive through his songs.

      The Ronceverte River Festival promises to be an unforgettable event each year, bringing the community together for a weekend of fun, music, and emotional connections. As the festival wrapped up, attendees looked forward to next year’s celebrations, already anticipating the memories yet to be made.
      The Great Rubber Duck Race saw 3,125 ducks race this year. Congratulations to the winners:
      Stephanie Rodousskis: $5,000 Janis Brewster: $2,500 Vada Saylor: $1,000 Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and participated in this exciting event!
       
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    • National & World News

      The U.S. Army celebrated its 249th birthday at the West Virginia Capitol with a series of events on June 14, 2024. The celebration, hosted by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, took place on the south steps of the Capitol and featured the West Virginia Army National Guard's 249th Band. Brig. Gen. Michaelle Munger, Special Assistant to the Adjutant General, gave remarks during the ceremony. The event also included an enlistment and reenlistment ceremony for new and current soldiers.
      Following the formal proceedings, a cake-cutting ceremony was held in the West Virginia Culture Center Great Hall. This event served as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 250th birthday celebration of the U.S. Army, highlighting the significance of this milestone in American military history.
      In addition to the central ceremony at the Capitol, the West Virginia National Guard organized ruck marches across the state to commemorate the occasion. These marches are a traditional military exercise that tests soldiers' physical endurance and readiness.
      The celebration brought together military personnel, veterans, and the public to honor the Army's legacy and its ongoing commitment to the nation
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    • State News

      Gov. Jim Justice has ordered all United States and West Virginia flags at the Capitol Complex and state-owned facilities in Randolph and Pocahontas counties to be displayed at half-staff from midnight until sunset on Saturday, June 15, 2024, in commemoration of the distinguished life and service of former West Virginia Delegate, Joe Martin.

      Martin was elected as the Mayor of Elkins in 1977. He then served in the West Virginia House of Delegates for 22 years, representing the people of Randolph and Pocahontas counties.

      Martin would later be appointed as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, now the Department of Homeland Security.
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    • Local News

      The Greenbrier County Commission convened for its regular meeting on June 13, 2024. The meeting began with Kelly leading the prelude and the Chief Deputy guiding the Pledge of Allegiance. Following an invocation that thanked the community's elders, the commission approved the minutes from the May 21 and May 28 meetings, with one minor correction.
      During the meeting, the commission addressed the settlement of 12 estates, including those of Sandra Lewis, Jay William Proud, and Melvin Philip Foster, among others. All settlements were approved without opposition.
      Financial approvals were a key focus, with end-of-year arts and recreation transfers totaling $93,330.30 being allocated to various county entities and projects, including libraries, the Meadow River Rail Trail, and Carnegie Hall. Two budget revisions were also approved for submission to the State Auditor, addressing litigation reserves and professional services, as well as law enforcement overtime reimbursements.
      The commission handled line item transfers across different county departments and approved the payment of bills for the past two weeks. All financial motions passed unanimously, ensuring proper allocation and use of county funds.
      The Greenbrier County Commission proclaimed June 13, 2024, as Elder Abuse Awareness Day, highlighting the importance of protecting the county's senior citizens. The proclamation emphasized the need for the community to safeguard seniors' dignity and well-being, recognizing their significant contributions to society.
      The commission invited the Elder Abuse Committee to participate in the proclamation reading, followed by a photo session. The day also featured an Elder Abuse Awareness Walk at CAMC Houghlin Field, encouraging community involvement in raising awareness about elder abuse.
      During its regular meeting on June 13, 2024, the Greenbrier County Commission approved an easement agreement with Monongahela Power Company for an overhead power line on county property along Harper Road. This easement facilitates an upgrade to three-phase power, essential for the new water system intake at the Delta River.
      The commission reviewed the agreement, which had been vetted by legal counsel, and noted that the upgrade would provide necessary power improvements for county development. The motion to approve the easement passed unanimously.
      The Greenbrier County Commission addressed several employment vacancies during its regular meeting on June 13, 2024. Michelle Vaughn was approved as the new victim services coordinator in the prosecutor's office. Vaughn, whose resume and background check were thoroughly reviewed, was deemed highly qualified for the position.
      Additionally, Joshua Doss was approved to join the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department. Doss, currently a certified officer with the Lewisburg Police Department, passed an extensive background check, physical, mental evaluation, and polygraph. The commission expressed confidence in Doss's ability to contribute positively to the department.
      On June 13, 2024, the Greenbrier County Commission approved a payment draw request for the Gig Ready Broadband project, totaling $93,200. The funds cover engineering and professional services provided by Thompson and Litton, supporting the county's efforts to enhance broadband infrastructure.
      The project aims to improve internet connectivity across the county, facilitating economic development and providing residents with better access to digital resources. The payment draw request passed unanimously, reflecting the commission's commitment to advancing this critical infrastructure project.
      The Greenbrier County Commission approved an agreement with Pullen Fowler Flanagan Brown and Poe to revise the county's employee handbook. The flat fee of $3,000 will cover the comprehensive update and revision, ensuring that the handbook reflects current policies and practices.
      The commission highlighted the need for the revision, given the handbook's outdated content. The updated handbook will provide clear guidance for county employees and align with best practices in human resource management. The motion to approve the agreement passed unanimously.
      In its June 13, 2024, meeting, the Greenbrier County Commission approved several board appointments and reappointments. Mary Serafino was reappointed to the Mountain Transit Authority Board, while Mark Gillespie was appointed as a new board member, both terms effective from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2027.
      Matt Ford was reappointed to the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation Board, and Gordon Campbell and Kim Kalkowski were reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mayor Beverly White was reappointed to the Greenbrier County Board of Health, representing the City of Lewisburg.
      Additionally, the commission revised the effective dates for board members of the Greenbrier Public Service District No. 2 to align with the fiscal year calendar. The adjustments ensure consistency across all county-appointed boards.
      The Greenbrier County Commission announced the closure of county government offices on June 19th and 20th in observance of Juneteenth and West Virginia Day. The decision follows the governor's declaration of these dates as holidays for state-run offices.
      The closure affects the county courthouse, the Supreme Court, Magistrate Court, Family Court, and probation offices. The commission advised residents to plan accordingly for any county-related business during this period.

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    • State News

      Gov. Jim Justice announced today that the Town of Alderson in Greenbrier County has secured a significant boost in funding to enhance its water infrastructure. The West Virginia Water Development Authority (WDA) has approved an $800,000 Economic Enhancement Grant Fund (EEFG) grant to replace Alderson's water treatment plant. This critical project has a total cost of $10,054,000.
      This funding is part of the WDA’s ongoing initiative to improve water and sewer systems across West Virginia, which has awarded 174 grants totaling over $427 million since April 2022. The program was established following Gov. Justice's call for a special legislative session, securing an initial $250 million to launch the Economic Enhancement Grant Fund.
      For Alderson, the upgrade of the water treatment plant is a significant development, promising to enhance water quality and reliability for the town’s residents. The new plant will replace outdated infrastructure, ensuring a more efficient and effective water treatment process.
      The replacement of Alderson's water treatment plant is not just an investment in infrastructure; it’s an investment in the health and well-being of our community. This project will provide residents with better water quality and support the town’s future growth.
      Gov. Justice highlighted the broader impact of the WDA’s initiatives, which have affected over 607,000 West Virginians by addressing critical infrastructure needs. The success of the Economic Enhancement Grant Fund program is evident in projects like Alderson’s water treatment plant. These grants are making a tangible difference in communities across the state, improving lives and fostering economic growth.
      Following the WDA’s June meeting, which approved the latest round of funding, the Authority celebrated its 50th anniversary. The event commemorated five decades of dedicated service to improving West Virginia’s water infrastructure. Deputy Chief of Staff Ann Urling presented a Certificate of Recognition to the WDA on behalf of Gov. Justice, acknowledging its outstanding commitment to public health and infrastructure development.
      WDA Executive Director Marie Prezioso expressed pride in the Authority's achievements and future goals. "We are incredibly proud to celebrate this milestone and look forward to continuing our work in the years ahead."
      The approval of the $800,000 grant for Alderson marks a significant step forward for the town, ensuring a safer and more reliable water supply for its residents. This development is a testament to the collaborative efforts of state and local governments to invest in essential infrastructure, fostering a brighter future for West Virginia communities.
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