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As Halloween approaches, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind everyone that safe and responsible celebrations should be a top priority during this beloved holiday. Halloween is not only a time for costumes and candy but also for parties and gatherings, which can lead to an increase in drunk drivers on the roads. To combat this issue, the GHSP is spreading the crucial message that "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving."
On Halloween and Trick-or-Treat nights, when more pedestrians are out at night in pursuit of candy, drivers are urged to be extra cautious, particularly if their plans involve alcohol. It is essential to plan for a sober ride home to ensure the safety of all road users. It's a sobering fact that during the years 2017-2021, there were 159 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night.
In 2021, there was a decrease in fatalities, with 38 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night, down from 58 people in 2020. However, it is still alarming that adults between the ages of 21 and 34 accounted for 55% of the fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2021.
Nationally, roughly one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involve drunk drivers with Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 g/dL. In 2021, there were 13,384 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. It's worth noting that it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher in most of the United States, except for Utah, where the limit is 0.05 g/dL.
Despite these laws, the statistics are grim, as one person was killed every 39 minutes in a drunk-driving crash on the nation's roads in 2021. Moreover, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was 2.8 times higher at night than during the day.
Men are more likely than women to drive under the influence when involved in fatal crashes. In 2021, 22% of males were found to be drunk, compared to 17% of females.
"Even though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, we anticipate an increase in parties and get-togethers during the week leading up to and throughout the weekend. We want those who celebrate with adult beverages to plan a sober ride home in advance," said Amy Boggs, GHSP Occupant Protection Coordinator. "Even one drink can impair judgment, and the same is true for any illegal drug or certain prescription medications. You should never put yourself or others at risk because you made the wrong choice to drink and drive. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving."
It's not just drunk driving that poses a danger on Halloween; pedestrians should also be cautious, whether they are children trick-or-treating or adults who have consumed alcohol. Walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as a lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of being struck by a vehicle.
"Of course, we want people to have a fun night out on Halloween. But more importantly, we want people to be safe and make responsible choices," Boggs continued. "There are many options available today to help drivers get home safely if they've been drinking or using drugs. We expect drivers to be responsible and refrain from driving after consuming an impairing substance."
In conclusion, Boggs emphasized, "The bottom line is: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Get a sober ride home and keep all road users safe this Halloween."
Celebrate with a Plan
If you plan to head out for a night of Halloween partying, remember these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
Never drink and drive: Even if you've had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
Use a sober ride program: If available, take advantage of your community's sober ride program or a taxi.
Report drunk drivers: If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
Intervene for friends: If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take their keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.
Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.
As Halloween approaches, let's make sure the scariest thing on the road is a child's spooky costume, not the consequences of impaired driving. Stay safe and enjoy the festivities responsibly.
Lewisburg continues to prove its designation as a West Virginia ‘Certified Arts Town’ is well deserved. The summer of 2024 will see another opportunity as Carnegie Hall, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, and The Greenbrier Valley Chorale come together to present The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Scheduled for July 2024, the musical production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will take place in Carnegie Hall’s Hamilton Auditorium and feature over 40 performers.
The excitement about the collaboration of three of Lewisburg’s artistic mainstays is evident. “Each organization will be relying on the others to keep this production balanced and successful,” says Barbara Lutz, Director of The Greenbrier Valley Chorale. “We all stand to benefit from the strengths of each other.”
This will be the first time a collaboration of this magnitude has been completed between the three organizations. “We already share many patrons in common, and this inaugural project will only help to bring our community together in a way we have never seen before,” says Cathy Rennard, President/CEO of Carnegie Hall. “We all want to serve our arts community in the absolute best way possible.”
The musical, based on the Victor Hugo novel, features songs from the 1996 Disney animated film. The theatrical production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame first opened in 1999 in Berlin, Germany, but wasn’t produced in the United States until 2015. The 2024 collaboration will mark the first time this musical production has been performed in Greenbrier County.
Tickets for this event will go on sale in 2024 and will be available at Carnegie Hall or online at carnegiehallwv.org.
For more information, please contact Greenbrier Valley Theatre at 304.645.3838, Carnegie Hall at 304.645.7917, or Greenbrier Valley Chorale at [email protected].
In a recent development, Best Buy has issued a recall for approximately 930,000 Insignia™ Multi-Function Pressure Cookers due to a burn hazard caused by incorrect volume markings on the inner pot. The flaw in the product design can potentially lead to overfilling the pot, resulting in hot food and liquids being expelled when the pressure cooker is vented or opened while pressurized.
The recall, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, involves Insignia Multi-Function Pressure Cookers with model numbers NS-MC60SS8, NS-MC60SS9, or NS-MC80SS9, along with inner cooker pots bearing model numbers NS-MCRP6NS9 and NS-MCRP6SS9, which were also sold separately as replacements. These electric pressure cookers and inner pots come in six- and eight-quart capacities and bear the brand name INSIGNIA on the front as well as a permanent on-product label. The model number of the recalled pressure cookers is printed on the side of the cooker, while the inner cooker pots are black with non-stick coating and embossed markings indicating cup and liter measurements.
The critical issue is that the incorrect volume markings on the inner pot can lead to consumers inadvertently overfilling the pressure cooker. Consequently, when these pressure cookers are vented using the quick release method or opened while their contents are still under pressure, there is a significant risk of hot food and liquids being forcefully expelled, posing a burn hazard to consumers.
To prevent accidents and injuries, consumers are advised to ensure that the inner pot is not filled beyond two-thirds of its capacity when pressure cooking. They should also confirm that the lid is securely locked before initiating pressure cooking and ensure that the floating locking valve has dropped before attempting to open the lid while the cooker is pressurized.
Best Buy has reported 31 incidents involving these pressure cookers in which the contents were expelled under pressure. These incidents include 17 cases of burn injuries, some of which have been classified as second-degree and severe burns.
The affected Insignia pressure cookers were sold at Best Buy stores nationwide and online at www.bestbuy.com and www.amazon.com between October 2017 and June 2023, with prices ranging from $50 to $120.
Consumers who own one of the recalled pressure cookers are urged to stop using them immediately and to contact Best Buy for a free replacement of the inner pot and floating locking valve for signaling pressure. Best Buy Purchasing LLC, based in Richfield, Minnesota, is the importer of these products, which were manufactured in China.
Consumers who have purchased these pressure cookers should check the model and inner pot numbers to determine if their unit is part of the recall and act accordingly to ensure their safety. The recall number for this product is 24-013. Best Buy is committed to providing a safe and reliable shopping experience for its customers and encourages those affected by the recall to reach out for a replacement.
Carnegie Hall’s three rotating galleries open Friday, November 3, with winter exhibits by Pat Cross (Old Stone Room), Thomas Ruggiero (Lobby Gallery), and Dennis Ott and Sean O’Connell (Museum Gallery). There will be opening receptions at 6 p.m. in conjunction with Lewisburg’s First Fridays after 5.
The Old Stone Room, located on the ground floor of Carnegie Hall, will feature “Inviting the Outdoors In” by Pat Cross. Over the years, her work has been displayed in more than 150 fine art exhibitions, including Realism New York, Bosque Art Classic, and Salon International. For her opening, she will host a family friendly, live, sketching demonstration.
Thomas Ruggiero will be featured in the Auditorium Lobby Gallery. He is an artist and fashion designer native to Lewisburg, WV. As a resident of Lee Street Studios, he crafts handmade one-of-a-kind garments and will be showcasing his original impasto ink fashion illustrations.
The Museum Gallery (adjacent to the Hamilton Auditorium) will house a collaborative exhibit of work by Dennis Ott and Sean O’Connell. Dennis Ott started woodturning as part of the new partnership between Carnegie Hall and the WV Woodturners Assoc. in Spring 2022 and has used this new artistic medium as another way to express his love of nature and the connection to the greater world around us. Sean O’Connell is a ceramic artist originally with a private studio at Lee Street Studios.
The exhibits are free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The exhibits will run through December 29. 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.
As part of its commitment to lifelong learning, Carnegie Hall offers a series of classes and workshops to enlighten and inspire learners of all ages. In November, Carnegie Hall will offer a pair of free music classes presented by American Federation of Musicians Local 674. Sound Reinforcement: Set Up, Adjustment, Settings, Pitfalls will take place Saturday, November 4 and Singing: Vocal Coaching and Technique on Saturday, November 18. Both classes begin at 11 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.
Hosted by the AFM Local 674 Music in Education Series, the Sound Reinforcement workshop will teach the basics of running sound and will feature guest teaching artists Thomas Taylor and Gary Williams.
Sound reinforcement involves the use of microphones, mixers, amplifiers, speakers, and other equipment to capture, process and reproduce sound signals. Sound reinforcement can be used for various purposes such as music concerts, public address systems, theatre productions, conferences and more. Sound Reinforcement requires careful planning and execution to achieve the desired quality and volume for the listening public.
The Singing: Vocal Coaching and Technique workshop will be hosted by guest teaching artist Jordon Stadvec. This free workshop can help singers of any level, genre, and style to achieve their musical goals and experience the enjoyment of singing.
Singing is a skill that can be improved with proper vocal coaching and learned techniques. Vocal coaching is the process of teaching singers how to use their voice effectively, expressively and in a healthy way to prevent injury while technique is the set of principles and practices that guide singers on how to produce sound, breathe, articulate, project, control pitch, tone, blending, dynamics, vibrato and more.
A light lunch will be provided during both workshops. Registration is required as class size is limited. Students must be 14 years of age or older.
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.
Carnegie Hall is a nonprofit organization supported by individual contributions, grants, and fundraising efforts such as TOOT and The Carnegie Hall Gala. The Hall is located at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg, WV. For more information, please call 304.645.7917 or visit www.carnegiehallwv.org.
The city of Ronceverte has issued a boil water advisory affecting several streets in the area. The affected areas include the vicinity of Locust and Greenbrier Avenue intersection to the end of Greenbrier Avenue, and the streets of Cedar and Chesapeake to Murray Street intersection.
In a recent regular meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission, various important matters were discussed and approved. The meeting, held on October 24, 2023, began with the customary invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was kicked off with a prayer for blessings, including a special mention of veterans, their guidance, and the honor bestowed upon them.
After the prayer, the meeting proceeded with several agenda items, including the approval of meeting minutes from the previous regular meeting and a special meeting held on October 10th and October 13th, respectively.
Settlements of estates were discussed, and five estates' final settlements were presented by Cindy Allen, the county's fiduciary. These estates were approved, with one commissioner recusing themselves from the vote.
Budget revisions were also on the agenda, involving several adjustments and allocations of funds for different departments. The budget revisions were approved, taking into account various changes, including training, travel expenses, and reimbursements.
Next, a financial transfer from savings to checking was discussed for the Meadow River Trail project, totaling $550 for the NPDS annual permit fee. This transfer was approved by the commission.
Following this, the commission considered a resolution supporting "Operation Green Light," a program that honors veterans. The resolution designates a period from October 24th to November 11th, 2023, to recognize and honor veterans' sacrifices. The resolution was approved, with veterans present at the meeting expressing their gratitude.
The commission also approved an arts and recreation transfer of $550 for annual permit fees.
An additional agenda item included authorizing an invoice submission for salary enhancement and crisis response grant funds. These funds were allocated to support emergency services in Greenbrier County, with specific criteria for disbursement.
The commission also approved the appointment of Dr. Harry E. Boone Jr. to fill a vacancy on the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board.
Lastly, the commission signed the 2024 Voca grant contracts for the Sheriff's Department and the Prosecutor's Office. These grants provide essential funding for victim advocate positions to support victims of crime in Greenbrier County.
The meeting concluded on a welcoming note to a new representative from Carol Miller's office, Jonathan Holland, who specializes in agricultural issues. Mr. Holland introduced himself and expressed his eagerness to work with the community.
In an announcement, the commission informed the public of road closures in front of the courthouse on the afternoon of November 27, 2023, for necessary repair work.
The meeting was productive, addressing a range of issues, from estate settlements to honoring veterans, budget revisions, and crucial grant approvals, all contributing to the betterment of Greenbrier County.
The Greenbrier County Commission continues to work diligently to address community needs and support various programs that enhance the quality of life for its residents.
The White Sulphur Springs Public Library has taken an innovative approach to celebrate Halloween this year by hosting a candy-guessing contest that promises to be both fun and rewarding. Patrons and community members are invited to participate in a friendly guessing game for a chance to win a jar full of delectable sweets. The contest, open to all library visitors, is set to run until Halloween night, making it a sweet treat for the entire community.
The rules of the contest are as simple as they are enticing. A large vase filled to the brim with a variety of candies has been placed prominently on display within the library. The challenge is to estimate the exact number of candies within the vase, and the person with the closest guess will be declared the winner. Participants can make their educated guesses throughout the ten-day duration of the contest.
The contest is set to conclude on the spooky night of Halloween, with the winner announced shortly thereafter. The lucky person with the most precise guess will take home the assortment of candies. This exciting event, with its sweet prizes, has the library's visitors and patrons looking forward to celebrating Halloween in a unique and enjoyable way.
So, if you haven't already, make your way to the White Sulphur Springs Public Library, take your best guess, and join in on the fun. You might just find yourself the proud owner of a jar of scrumptious candies just in time for Halloween.
The Greenbrier Journal, a local online news blog, has been steadily gaining popularity, particularly as trust in traditional news outlets wanes. Initially established as a COVID information website on July 4, 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the Greenbrier Journal recently transitioned into an official business earlier this year. Since this transition, we've made significant strides, acquiring over 700 subscribers on YouTube and producing more than 50 videos that cover a wide range of local events.
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In a unanimous decision, the West Virginia State Senate recently passed a resolution reaffirming its strong support for the State of Israel while unequivocally condemning the actions of the Hamas terrorist organization. This resolution comes in response to a recent unprovoked attack by Hamas on Israel, which resulted in the death and abduction of innocent civilians, including children and the elderly.
The resolution, which reflects the unwavering commitment of the Senate to upholding peace and justice, was signed by Senator Vince Deeds and Senator Jack David Woodrum, both representing the 10th District of West Virginia. In a display of unity and solidarity, the entire Senate rallied behind the resolution to show their support for Israel.
The timing of this resolution is significant, as it coincides with the solemn 40th anniversary of the Beirut bombing, a tragic event that occurred on October 23, 1983. The attack led to the devastating loss of 241 U.S. servicemen, including Sergeant Mecot Camara from Hinton, West Virginia. Senator Woodrum, who shared a personal connection with Sergeant Camara, emphasized the importance of commemorating his service and sacrifice.
"Sergeant Mecot Camara was not just a brave serviceman but also a cherished member of our community who grew up just down the street from me," Senator Woodrum stated. "His service and sacrifice will always be remembered."
The resolution not only serves as a tribute to the memory of Sergeant Camara but also as a strong statement of support for Israel and a condemnation of Hamas. The terrorist organization initiated an unprovoked attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in the death of over 900 Israelis, including 11 United States citizens, and leaving more than 2,600 others injured.
Hamas, designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government, is widely recognized for its relentless and indiscriminate acts of violence against innocent civilians in Israel. The West Virginia State Senate expressed its firm stance against such acts of terror, making it clear that they will not be tolerated.
The resolution also calls upon other states and nations to join in a coalition against Hamas and its supporters, standing in solidarity with Israel to fight against terrorism. This declaration of support and condemnation of Hamas is backed by a commitment to Israel's sovereign rights to defend its citizens and territories against foreign aggression.
In a final step, the Senate has directed the clerk to forward a copy of this resolution to key figures in the United States government, including the President, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. It will also be sent to the United States Secretary of State and West Virginia's congressional delegation, underlining the West Virginia Senate's unwavering support for Israel and its fight against terrorism.
The passing of this resolution by the West Virginia State Senate sends a powerful message of unity, compassion, and a commitment to peace in the face of acts of terrorism. It reflects the state's unwavering support for Israel and the belief in the sanctity of human life.