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Undeterred by a misty drizzle and a slight fog, the resilient community of Alderson gathered on December 1st for the annual Christmas Parade, turning weather challenges into a showcase of unwavering community spirit. Families, despite the absence of raincoats, lined the streets with umbrellas, eagerly anticipating the festive procession.
The parade featured a dazzling display of floats, marching bands, and the iconic arrival of Santa Claus atop a fire engine. The Alderson Fire Department served as the heart of post-parade celebrations, where local bands played Christmas tunes, and Santa, unfazed by the mist, took photos with children and distributed small gifts. Mayor Emily Thompson praised the community's resilience, highlighting the parade as a powerful example of Alderson's unity.
As the last echoes of Christmas music faded, and the misty streets cleared, Alderson's Christmas Parade left an indelible mark on the town's collective spirit. The commitment to festive traditions, even in misty and foggy conditions, showcased the warmth and togetherness that define the community.
In a radiant celebration of community spirit and holiday joy, Lewisburg joyfully holds its annual Christmas parade. As darkness descends, the city streets come alive with a dazzling array of twinkling lights and festive decorations. Families, friends, and neighbors gather along the parade route, bundled up against the winter chill, their faces aglow with anticipation. The sound of festive music and cheerful laughter fills the air as a procession of beautifully adorned floats, marching bands, and merry participants winds its way through the heart of Lewisburg. The parade becomes a magical spectacle, casting a warm and enchanting glow on the city, symbolizing the unity and festive camaraderie that define this close-knit community. The annual Christmas parade is a cherished tradition, marking not only the holiday season but also serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of togetherness that makes Lewisburg shine brightly year after year.
Carnegie Hall Classes and Workshops continue in December with a Sugar Skull Masks workshop on Saturday, December 9, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. This class is open to students six years of age or older and class size is limited.
Students will watch brief demonstrations by the teaching artist Amie Durrman throughout this guided workshop, so they can explore a hands-on experience using a slab roller. Participants will create and mold their sugar skull masks using surface tools and various easy to learn techniques. Underglazes will be applied the same day, and projects will be left to be fired in the kilns at the Hall.
The cost is $35 for members and $55 for an adult/child pair. To register or for a complete list of classes and workshops visit carnegiehallwv.org/classes-and-workshops or pick up a Classes & Workshops brochure at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Mark your calendars and plan to join in the annual Empty Bowls hunger awareness and fundraising event hosted by United Way of Greenbrier Valley! Thursday, November 30th from 5:30-7:30pm at the WVSOM Student Conference Room located inside the Student Center.
Tickets are $30 in advance and will be $35 at the door. With your ticket, you will receive one beautiful, locally handcrafted pottery bowl of your choosing and one bowl of soup of your choice. Soup choices will include everything from chicken enchilada to curried butternut squash to homestyle chicken noodle. Gluten free bread and dinner rolls will also be provided.
In a significant move aimed at enhancing air travel infrastructure, Governor Jim Justice presented the Greenbrier Valley Airport with a generous $5 million check today. The funds are earmarked for a dual-purpose initiative focusing on the rehabilitation of the airport's terminal and the renovation of its runway.
The terminal rehabilitation project is expected to usher in a new era for the Greenbrier Valley Airport by increasing gate space and facilitating the expansion of airline services. This strategic enhancement aligns with the broader goal of fostering economic development and bolstering connectivity within the region.
Simultaneously, the runway renovation project aims to comprehensively resurface the existing 150-foot-wide runway. Beyond a mere facelift, this endeavor includes crucial upgrades such as improved road grading and the installation of additional LED lights. These modifications are designed to augment visibility, especially during adverse weather conditions, ensuring a safer and more efficient landing and takeoff experience.
The Greenbrier Valley Airport has faced challenges related to crosswinds, restricting its ability to accommodate large commercial and military aircraft. The proposed improvements will address these limitations head-on, positioning the airport as a more versatile and accommodating facility for a broader range of aircraft.
Governor Jim Justice expressed his unwavering commitment to fortifying the state's aviation infrastructure, emphasizing the pivotal role airports play in driving economic prosperity and community development. "I wholeheartedly believe that airports are the heartbeat of our state," said Gov. Justice. "We will tirelessly support these crucial hubs, knowing they are important to our economy and communities, and this region has a goldmine of potential. We are determined to seize that potential with these improvements, as it signals our dedication to ensuring West Virginia not only thrives but soars into a promising future."
The financial backing for this ambitious project is a collaborative effort. While the West Virginia Department of Transportation's 2024 budget allocated $1 million for the airport's terminal rehabilitation, an additional $4 million was secured from a non-federal match fund specifically earmarked for runway renovation. This multifaceted funding approach underscores the collective commitment to advancing the Greenbrier Valley Airport and positioning it as a key player in the state's aviation landscape.
As construction gears up, anticipation grows for the positive impact these improvements will have on the region's connectivity, economic vitality, and the overall travel experience for both residents and visitors alike. The $5 million injection marks a pivotal moment for the Greenbrier Valley Airport, propelling it into a new era of growth and efficiency.
Mon Power has announced a planned power outage on Friday, December 1, 2023, to facilitate essential upgrades to their facilities in various areas of West Virginia. The outage is scheduled to take place between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, impacting approximately 825 customers in the regions of Clintonville, Crawley, Lewisburg, Alderson, and Asbury. Notably, downtown Lewisburg will not be affected by the planned outage.
Customers in the affected areas will receive an automated call to the phone number associated with their account of record, notifying them of the temporary disruption in service. The message states, "Hello. This message is from Mon Power. On Friday, December 1, 2023, there will be a planned power outage to upgrade facilities."
For customers in the vicinity of Clintonville, Crawley, Lewisburg, and Williamsburg, WV, the automated call informs them that they will experience two 5-minute service interruptions within the specified time frame.
Meanwhile, customers in Alderson, Asbury, and Lewisburg, WV, will encounter a continuous service interruption from approximately 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on the designated date.
In the event of inclement weather on December 1, the planned outage will be rescheduled for Monday, December 4, 2023. Mon Power urges affected customers to call 800-686-0022 for any inquiries or concerns.
Mon Power expresses gratitude for the patience and understanding of its customers during this essential maintenance work aimed at enhancing electric service reliability. The company emphasizes the importance of these upgrades to ensure a more robust and efficient power supply for the communities served.
As part of Mon Power's commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction, updates and additional information regarding the planned outage can be found on the company's official website and social media channels.
In a pivotal regular meeting on November 28, 2023, the Greenbrier County Commission addressed a range of issues impacting the community, from budgetary revisions to personnel matters and significant contract considerations.
The proceedings kicked off with a prelude and an invocation led by Kelly and Rosanna. The attendees then united in the Pledge of Allegiance, setting a respectful tone for the session. The Commission began by approving minutes from the regular meeting on November 14th and a special meeting on November 20th, ensuring an accurate record of past discussions and decisions.
Commissioner Phillips led discussions on financial matters, covering arts and recreation transfers, exonerations, and county splits and consolidations. The financial proposals were approved through motions, showcasing the Commission's commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Ruthanna Beasley from the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation sought continued support from the Commission. A resolution for financial backing was approved, emphasizing the Commission's dedication to economic growth and collaboration.
The Commission took a moment to acknowledge the retirement of Robert Ford from the Greenbrier County Planning and Permit Office, thanking him for his years of service.
A notable hiring decision was made in the Greenbrier County Prosecutor's Office, where Alison Burke was approved for a position. Additionally, the 911 Center saw approvals for the hiring of two full-time and one part-time employee, demonstrating the Commission's commitment to enhancing public safety.
Discussions around contracts for the 911 system upgrade project, involving Motorola and Aviat, were deferred to future meetings. The decision reflects the Commission's thorough approach to major contractual agreements.
A significant revision to the employee handbook was approved, clarifying the eligibility criteria for fringe benefits. The revision stipulates a 40-hour work week for full-time status, providing clarity for employees and supervisors.
Updates were provided on ongoing construction projects at the courthouse and health department. The positive progress indicated the Commission's commitment to improving community infrastructure.
Residents were encouraged to inquire about public water availability in specific areas by contacting Public Service District #2, underlining the Commission's commitment to expanding essential services.
The meeting concluded with a motion for adjournment, marking the end of a session that saw the Commission make impactful decisions, reaffirming their dedication to the betterment of Greenbrier County and its residents.
When it comes to the perils of wildlife on the roads, West Virginia is taking the lead, and it's not a statistic the state is proud of. According to recent insurance data, the Mountain State leads the nation in deer strike accidents on its roadways.
Joe Pack, P.E., Chief Engineer of Operations at the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH), highlighted the unique challenges faced by the state. "We live in a mountainous, rural area where wildlife is prevalent," he stated. "The more rural the area, the more likely accidents are to happen."
Between January 1, 2023, and Monday, November 20, 2023, a staggering 10,618 deer were struck by vehicles on West Virginia highways. Surprisingly, 15 bears also fell victim to these unfortunate collisions. Additionally, coyotes and various other wild animals occasionally find themselves in harm's way on the Mountain State's roads.
Cleanup duties after these incidents fall upon the shoulders of the men and women working in WVDOH field offices scattered throughout the state. "We treat it just like any other road obstruction," Pack explained. Prioritizing based on the level of threat, the WVDOH ensures that the most dangerous sites are addressed promptly. A deer on the side of a rural road poses less risk than one in the middle of an interstate, so their approach is strategic in minimizing public hazards.
Despite their best efforts, WVDOH work crews may not be aware of every animal strike. This is where public participation becomes crucial. If you come across a deceased deer or any other animal on or near a state roadway, you can contribute to road safety by reporting it through the Safety With Action Today (SWAT) hotline. The hotline, reachable at 1-833-WVROADS, offers an avenue for citizens to play an active role in making the roads safer. Alternately, reports can be submitted via email at [email protected], or online through the official WVDOH website at https://dotforms.wv.gov/cra.
As West Virginia grapples with this unique challenge, the state encourages its residents to be vigilant on the roads and actively participate in the effort to reduce deer-related accidents. With winter approaching and the increased likelihood of deer activity, staying informed and reporting incidents promptly can make a significant impact on road safety for all.
The West Virginia Turnpike saw an impressive surge in travel over the Thanksgiving holiday period, surpassing estimates with more than 724,000 total transactions recorded between Tuesday, November 21, 2023, and Sunday, November 26, 2023.
According to the West Virginia Parkways Authority, a total of 724,768 transactions were processed at the three toll booths on the turnpike during the holiday period, exceeding estimates by nearly 10,000 transactions. This influx of travel showcased the popularity of the scenic route for Thanksgiving getaways.
"The WV Turnpike was well prepared for a heavy influx of traffic during Thanksgiving week," said Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority. "I couldn't be prouder of our Toll Operations, Maintenance crews, Courtesy patrol, Traffic Flaggers, State Police Troop 7, and Dispatch Center for their commitment this week to ensure traffic ran as smoothly as possible."
The busiest day on the turnpike was Sunday, November 26, 2023, with a remarkable 161,022 total transactions, slightly above the estimated 160,000. Wednesday, November 22, 2023, followed closely as the second busiest day, with 156,241 total transactions, exceeding the estimated 155,000.
Tuesday, November 21, 2023, saw 132,053 total transactions, surpassing the estimated 130,000. Toll collectors on Saturday, November 25, 2023, recorded 128,818 total transactions, exceeding the estimated 125,000, while Friday, November 24, 2023, experienced 83,370 total transactions, above the estimated 80,000.
Even on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2023, there were 67,695 total transactions, indicating that a significant number of travelers chose the turnpike as their route to and from holiday gatherings.
The West Virginia Turnpike, which averages nearly 100,000 total transactions per day throughout the year, proved to be a reliable choice for holiday travel, showcasing the efficiency and preparedness of the authorities in managing the increased traffic during this festive season. As travelers return home, the West Virginia Parkways Authority remains dedicated to ensuring a safe and smooth journey for all road users.
“Joy To Lewisburg with Bob Thompson and Friends” returns to the Greenbrier Valley on Sunday, December 17, at 7 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. The annual concert will feature Christmas classics and holiday favorites performed by West Virginia Music Hall of Fame member Thompson and his band with special guests Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and Kamron Lawson.
Guests are invited to come early to Club Carnegie from 6 – 6:45 p.m. in the Board Room located adjacent to the Hamilton Auditorium. A cash bar and snacks are available.
West Virginia music hall of fame pianist Bob Thompson is perhaps the state’s best-loved musician and ambassador of jazz. He has touched many people’s lives both as an entertainer and a teacher.
Born in New York in 1942, he moved to West Virginia in the mid-’60s to attend West Virginia State College. Growing up in NY, he sang in street corner doo-wop bands and originally attended WVSC on a scholarship to study trumpet and music education. After switching to piano, he quickly became a staple on the local scene with bands like the Modern Jazz Interpreters and Joi.
After some independent releases, he signed to Capitol Records subsidiary Intima and later to the Ichiban label. Two of his albums climbed into the Top 25 in Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart while four of his releases made their way into the Top 10 on the Radio and Records jazz chart. Those nationally released works furthered his reputation significantly.
In the meantime, he performed in Brazil, South Africa, and Scandinavia. Appearances on BET, as the house pianist on the NPR show Mountain Stage, and several tours abroad have made Thompson a visible presence in the jazz world for more than 40 years. In addition, for the past decade Thompson’s annual holiday jazz show Joy to the World has become a regular feature of Public Radio International’s holiday programming.
He will be joined on the Hamilton Auditorium Stage by season six winner of NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. He is from Logan, West Virginia and is known as the “Soul and Sinatra” singer.
The former car washer's Columbia Records debut album produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart. Landau's follow-up holiday CD “Christmas Made For Two” raised thousands for the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia and received nationwide airplay including Sirius/XM’s “Holly” channel.
Landau has performed dozens of sold-out concerts around the world, headlining at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Apollo Theater in New York, The Grove in Hollywood (for Tina Sinatra), the Fountainbleu in Miami Beach, with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai China, and for U.S. troops stationed across Europe.
He has performed with living legends including Patti Labelle, George Benson, and former members of the Temptations, Platters and Drifters. He has appeared on CNN, HLN, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, Tom Joyner, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Wendy Williams, and dozens other top media outlets.
Landau was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Jaycees and West Virginian of the Year in his home state for his assistance in raising millions for those in need.
Also joining Thompson will be another fellow West Virginian, Kamron Lawson. He is the Beckley native who wowed the judges this season on American Idol and became a viral internet sensation when he auditioned and won the hearts of viewers all over America.
Tickets to the performance are $32/A-Section adult and $30/B-Section adult. Discounts are available for Carnegie Hall members, students, senior citizens, and military.
To purchase tickets, call Carnegie Hall Box Office at 304.645.7917, visit www.carnegiehallwv.org, or stop by at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg, West Virginia. Carnegie Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Joy To Lewisburg with Bob Thompson and Friends is made possible with support from the Casasanta Foundation.