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Over the past several days, the dedicated first responders in our community have been tirelessly working to keep the public safe in the face of various challenges.
On Thursday morning, a structure fire was reported on "Big Draft Road" in White Sulphur Springs. Thanks to the swift response of first responders, the residents managed to evacuate with no reported injuries. In a heartwarming twist, firefighters heroically saved the family's pet tortoise, Tank, from the flames.
However, not all incidents had such positive outcomes. On Friday morning, tragedy struck Lora Boone and her family of four when a fire broke out in their home, destroying it and claiming the life of their pet cat. Although there were no reported injuries, first responders had to close portions of Church St and Anjean Rd from 6:30 AM to 11 AM, disrupting the normal flow of the community. Now, the Boone family is reaching out to the community for support and donations to rebuild their lives.
As severe weather moved into the area over the weekend, first responders faced additional challenges with reports of vehicle accidents due to black ice. An incident involving a tractor-trailer rollover near mile marker 157 on I-64 was particularly perilous. Emergency crews had to abandon the trailer at the scene due to the dangerous conditions, as highlighted in a statement by the Greenbrier County Homeland Security & Emergency Management on social media.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck again in Hardy County on Saturday morning. Hardy County 911 received a distress call around 5:00 AM reporting a house fire near the community of Mathias. Regrettably, one adult and four children perished in the fire, with ages ranging from one to five years old. The sole survivor has been taken to the hospital. The cause of the fire remains undetermined due to the extensive damage, and no smoke alarms were found among the debris.
Governor Jim Justice expressed deep sadness, stating, "Cathy and I are deeply saddened by the tragedy in Hardy County. Our hearts go out to the affected family, and we ask for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
These recent events highlight the vital role our first responders play in our community, sometimes facing heart-wrenching circumstances, and also underscore the resilience and unity of our community in times of need.
Chocolate lovers, mark your calendars! The highly anticipated 16th Annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival is set to return on Saturday, April 6th, 2024, promising a delectable day of chocolatey delights and family-friendly fun.
Hosted by the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, this beloved event has become a cherished tradition for locals and visitors alike. Scheduled to take place from 11 am to 3 pm, the festival will transform the charming town of Lewisburg into a chocolate lover's paradise, offering a sweet escape for attendees of all ages.
The event, which is open to the public, will feature a four-hour extravaganza of chocolate-centric activities, culinary experiences, and entertainment. From artisanal chocolates to creative chocolate-infused dishes, attendees can expect a diverse range of delectable treats to satisfy their sweet cravings.
"We're counting down the days!" exclaimed the organizers on their official Facebook page. "Who's ready for the 16th Annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival? Save the Date - Saturday, April 6th, 11 am to 3 pm. Tickets will be available soon, so stay tuned for more details."
As the town gears up for this mouthwatering celebration, chocolate enthusiasts can anticipate a delightful array of chocolate-themed foods and beverages, showcasing the versatility of this beloved confection. Whether you prefer classic chocolate truffles, innovative chocolate-infused dishes, or simply want to indulge in the pure, unadulterated goodness of chocolate, the festival promises something for every palate.
The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival has become a hallmark event for the community, drawing visitors from near and far to partake in the celebration of all things chocolate. With a duration of four hours, attendees can immerse themselves in the world of chocolate, sampling, savoring, and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
While the complete lineup of events and participating vendors is yet to be unveiled, anticipation is already building among chocolate aficionados. The festival's Facebook page invites attendees to engage with the event and offers a sneak peek into the preparations. From tantalizing teaser posts to behind-the-scenes glimpses, the organizers are stoking excitement for what promises to be a memorable chocolate-filled day.
To make the most of the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival experience, organizers suggest attendees prepare by staying tuned for ticket release announcements and checking out the festival's Facebook page for updates and additional information.
As the Lewisburg community and chocolate enthusiasts everywhere eagerly await the return of this annual celebration, the 16th Annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival is poised to be a sweet success, bringing together people to revel in the joy of chocolate and create lasting memories in the heart of West Virginia. Save the date, secure your tickets, and get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth on April 6th, 2024.
Due to anticipated inclement weather, Greenbrier County Schools will be implementing a three-hour delay schedule on Monday, January 8, 2024. This decision has been made to ensure the safety of students and staff. Please plan accordingly and stay tuned for any further updates. Thank you for your understanding.
In a crucial call to enhance community safety, the Quinwood Volunteer Fire Department is urging residents to play a vital role in ensuring swift emergency responses during winter. With snowfall covering the area, the department emphasizes the necessity of maintaining a clear perimeter of at least three feet around neighborhood fire hydrants. This simple yet impactful act facilitates the rapid connection needed in the event of a fire. Fire responders are fervently encouraging the public to heed this plea, recognizing that every moment counts when facing potential emergencies. By collectively clearing snow around fire hydrants, residents contribute significantly to the efficiency of emergency services and, ultimately, the safety of the entire community. The Quinwood Volunteer Fire Department expresses gratitude for community cooperation and emphasizes the importance of this shared responsibility in fostering a secure environment for all.
In an effort to enhance the reliability of electric service, Mon Power has scheduled a planned power outage for Wednesday, January 10, 2024. The outage will take place from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm and will affect approximately 400 customers in the vicinity of Lewisburg, WV. It is essential to note that downtown Lewisburg will not be impacted by this planned outage.
The purpose of this scheduled interruption is to facilitate upgrades to existing facilities, ensuring a more robust and efficient power infrastructure for the affected area. Mon Power understands the inconvenience this may cause and extends its gratitude to customers for their patience and understanding during this essential maintenance work.
In the event of inclement weather on January 10, 2024, the planned outage will be rescheduled to Wednesday, January 17, 2024. This "make-up" day serves as a contingency to ensure the safety and well-being of both customers and Mon Power personnel.
Customers within the affected area will receive an automated call to the phone number associated with their account of record. The recorded message will inform them about the planned power outage, its duration, and the rescheduling process in case of adverse weather conditions. Mon Power encourages customers to reach out to their helpline at 800-686-0022 for any inquiries or concerns.
Mon Power is committed to maintaining open communication with its customers and appreciates their cooperation as the company works towards improving the overall electric service reliability in the Lewisburg community.
As West Virginia braces for the latest winter weather event, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) is taking proactive measures to keep the state's roadways safe and passable. With over 1,000 trucks equipped with plows and salt-spreading capabilities deployed across the state, the WVDOH crews are working tirelessly during the current winter storm on Friday, January 5, 2024, and are gearing up for expected winter weather throughout the weekend.
Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Chief Engineer of District Operations, assured the public of the department's preparedness. "As always, we are prepared for any snowfall event. We attack each storm with the same level of importance of having every available truck on the road," Pack stated.
To ensure round-the-clock coverage, each truck is assigned a dedicated driver for both a 12-hour day shift and a 12-hour night shift. This arrangement ensures that a driver is on the roadway 24 hours a day, providing continuous efforts to combat adverse weather conditions.
WVDOH snowplow drivers remain on the road as long as the snow is falling and then continue their efforts for cleanup until the roads are deemed safe and passable. The winter weather forecast for the upcoming weekend predicts a wintry mix, prompting the use of an increased amount of stone mixed with salt.
Pack explained, "As the abrasives are applied at a higher rate on the roadway, it does not allow the ice sheet to form a solid. It forms around that small rock, and as the traffic drives over it, it cracks. The cracking allows the salt solution to penetrate the ice, melting it from underneath."
Statewide, the WVDOH boasts a substantial stockpile of more than 231,000 tons of salt. A typical snowplow, holding 12 tons of salt, can treat approximately 100 lane miles of road. This translates to about a 50-mile stretch of two-lane road or approximately 25 miles of four-lane road.
WVDOH emphasizes the importance of motorist cooperation during winter weather events. Motorists are urged to slow down, maintain a safe distance from snowplow drivers, and never attempt to pass a truck during hazardous conditions.
For the latest updates and information on travel conditions throughout West Virginia, residents are encouraged to visit wv511.org. The WVDOH remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all citizens as they work diligently to combat the challenges presented by winter weather.
The Greenbrier County Republican Club, meeting at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church on January 4, 2024, welcomed the new year with a town hall-style meeting designed to foster open discussions among members. Club President Gordon Campbell set the tone by requesting that the meeting not be recorded, allowing members to speak freely about various issues.
The meeting covered a broad spectrum of topics, including fundraising dinners, parades, and new membership enrollment. President Campbell urged members to participate in a recently released survey that addresses a wide array of club-related issues.
However, the otherwise productive meeting was punctuated by expressions of frustration and tension concerning the ongoing conflicts with the Greenbrier County Republican Executive Committee. Members voiced concerns about the internal discord, emphasizing the need for unity within the local Republican Party.
A member highlighted the urgency of resolving the inner-party fighting, while another member pointed to an ongoing Secretary of State investigation into the Executive Committee. The investigation, if left unresolved, was identified as a potential source of ongoing conflict between the club and the committee.
The meeting revisited the fallout from December when the Greenbrier County Republican Club faced financial setbacks. A scheduling conflict with the Nicholas County Executive Committee led to the cancellation of the December 8th Christmas dinner. Criticism was directed at Chairman Ben Anderson for failing to inform the club of the conflicting events.
Calls for unity and cooperation within the local Republican Party emerged during the meeting, amidst the need to prevent future scheduling conflicts. Despite these efforts, concerns were raised about the Executive Committee's recent launch of an associate membership program, seen by some as an attempt to undermine the club.
While differing opinions on how to address the conflicts persist, the meeting concluded on a positive note with plans for a spring dinner. Club President Gordon Campbell is expected to engage in discussions about various matters with Chairman Anderson and explore avenues for collaboration.
As the Greenbrier County Republican Club navigates these internal challenges, members remain hopeful that the party can unite, setting aside differences for the greater goal as they approach the crucial 2024 General Election.
The members of American Legion Post #69 extend warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and look forward to a safe and prosperous new year in 2024. The upcoming year promises to be eventful, marked by numerous activities and significant changes, with one major addition being the introduction of a Flagbox for the proper retirement of worn American flags.
In a laudable initiative to honor the nation's symbol, American Legion Post #69 will conduct respectful retirement ceremonies for flags that have become torn, tattered, faded, and well worn. The newly established Flagbox, generously provided by the West Virginia University Extension Service office, serves as a dedicated collection point for these retired flags.
The post plans to regularly empty the Flagbox, given the considerable number of flags retired in recent years, nearing an impressive 1,000. The box is conveniently located in the parking lot adjacent to the American Legion Post #69 facility, situated at 816 S Jefferson St, Lewisburg, WV.
This endeavor underscores the post's steadfast commitment to upholding the honor and dignity of the American Flag. Community members are encouraged to actively participate in this patriotic initiative by depositing their worn-out flags in the Flagbox, ensuring a proper retirement and disposal that befits the significance of this emblem.
As American Legion Post #69 enters 2024 with renewed enthusiasm, the introduction of the Flagbox stands as a symbol of their dedication to preserving the traditions and values that the American flag represents. This meaningful change reflects the enduring spirit of the post and its commitment to community service while honoring the symbols that embody the history and values of the United States.
In a move that has both surprised and not surprised political observers, Caleb Hanna, the former representative of District 48, which covers the northern part of Greenbrier County, in the West Virginia House of Delegates, has officially resigned from his position. The decision comes as Hanna shifts his focus to a new endeavor—his candidacy for the crucial role of West Virginia State Auditor.
The official statement, issued on September 8, 2023, announced Hanna's intention to run for the State Auditor position, signaling his commitment to taking on a key role in state governance. Hanna's decision to resign from the House of Delegates, effective January 2, 2024, aligns with his dedication to focusing entirely on his campaign for State Auditor.
While Hanna's departure from the House of Delegates may come as a surprise to some, it falls in line with a trend observed among other candidates who have chosen to step down from their current positions to concentrate on their campaign efforts. In the competitive landscape of West Virginia politics, such strategic moves have become increasingly common, allowing candidates to direct their full attention and resources towards their election bid.
District 48, encompassing the northern part of Greenbrier County, has been a key focus of Hanna's representation, and his decision to step down highlights the significance of his new pursuit. Hanna, who entered the political arena at a remarkably young age and carved a niche for himself in the West Virginia House of Delegates, expressed gratitude for the support he received during his tenure. He emphasized that his decision to resign was not made lightly but was driven by a deep commitment to serve the state in a new capacity as State Auditor.
As per his official communication channels, including his Capitol Office and District Office, Hanna remains accessible to constituents and the public during this transitional period. His decision to seek the office of State Auditor has ignited anticipation among residents of Greenbrier County and beyond, eager to witness how his unique perspectives and experiences will shape the state's financial oversight.
With other candidates having similarly stepped down from their positions to focus on their campaigns, Hanna's strategic move underscores the competitive nature of the upcoming election for West Virginia State Auditor. As the political landscape continues to evolve, voters will be closely watching the developments in this crucial race that will impact the state's financial governance.
Governor Justice expressed his optimism, stating, "This is excellent news as we head into the new calendar year but is not a surprise as our economy remains rock solid. Surpassing estimates by over $400 million halfway through the fiscal year is a testament to the resilience of our state's economy."
The Governor credited West Virginia's economic strength to prudent fiscal decisions, notably the 21.25% personal income tax cut, the largest in state history. Despite this substantial reduction, personal income taxes and corporation net income taxes drove this month's cumulative surplus.
December's Personal Income Tax collections of $236.8 million exceeded estimates by $70.7 million, contributing to a cumulative total of over $1.174 billion—$201.4 million above estimate and just 0.3% below prior year receipts, even after the tax rate cut.
Corporation Net Income Tax collections for December amounted to $56.5 million, surpassing estimates by $16.4 million. Year-to-date collections of $218.3 million were $109.1 million above estimate, marking a 13% increase over last year.
Consumer Sales Tax collections in December totaled $168.4 million, exceeding prior year receipts by 4.5%. Year-to-date collections of $870.1 million were $21.0 million above estimate and 4.5% ahead of last year.
Severance Tax collections for December reached $35.8 million—$11.5 million above estimate. Cumulative collections for this category amounted to more than $112.1 million.
Year-to-date interest income collections exceeded expectations by $91.0 million, totaling over $114.3 million—a remarkable 194% increase over last year.
Governor Justice concluded by encouraging citizens to access more detailed information through the West Virginia State Budget Office's monthly revenue and cash flow reports, available here https://budget.wv.gov/reportsandcharts/revenuereports/Pages/default.aspx.
This surplus in revenue affirms West Virginia's financial stability and reinforces the positive impact of strategic economic decisions on the state's fiscal health.