Big doings planned for Harrisons Earth Week
Dozens of area residents and organizations are getting
prepared for what is considered by some as the planets equivalent of a
trip to the beauty parlor: Earth Week.
While millions of people around the world will be
celebrating Earth Day on April 22, several Harrison County residents are
planning to honor the planet for an entire week.
The Harrison County Solid Waste Authority, the Harrison
County Board of Education and the county Environmental Citizens Organization
are teaming up with local volunteers and businesses to celebrate Earth
The group has planned a week of activities in the
Meadowbrook Mall from April 19 to April 25. The opening ceremonies are
slated for April 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Volunteers will be passing out 6,000 free pine tree
seedlings and packets of sunflower seeds. Smokey Bear will also be on hand
to give fire safety tips.
Allegheny Power and the Harrison/Rivesville region
Power Station will award either a Harrison or Marion County school for
actively participating in efforts to improve the environment. The winner,
which will be announced April 20, will receive $200.
Students from all over the county also wrote essays
about the environment. More than 470 essays were submitted. The theme of
the essay this year is Clean me up, Country Roads.
Members of several area 4-H clubs will use the same
theme in their designs for a poster contest. The winners design will be
placed on the back of a Central Transit Authority bus.
Paul Hamrick, litter control chairman of Harrison
County, believes the events are a good way to remind people how their everyday
lifestyles have the potential to destroy the environment. People just
have to be conscious of their waste. Were a throw-away society. We just
toss everything out.
Every year, the Solid Waste Authority picks up about
3,000 tires from around the county that were illegally dumped.
It costs about $2 to dispose of a tire at a designated tire disposal
dealer. But, as Hamrick points out, it costs taxpayers about $4 for the
Solid Waste Authority to retrieve illegally dumped tires.
Children should also get in the act by conserving
energy, Hamrick said. The solution is simple: Just get back to the simple
things in life. Like enjoying the outdoors.
Children today just need to put away their Gameboys
and Sony Playstations for a while and maybe enjoy those things that cost
nothing, Hamrick said. Theyre out there for everyone.
Grafton Council OKs funds for Anna Jarvis home
by Torie Knight
GRAFTON Anna Jarviss birthplace in Taylor County
will get a much needed improvement following grant approvals by Grafton
City Council members Tuesday.
Council approved construction bids for a $38,000
Governors Partnership Grant to build a welcome center near the house where
the founder of Mothers Day was born.
The center will have necessities, such as restroom
facilities and running water. It also will contain an office, a gift shop
and a conference room.
Olive Crow, an owner of the house built in 1854,
said it wasnt easy to get the grant approved. She tried for three years
before the money came through. Were ready to get started, she said.
Visitors to the house have only had portable facilities
in the past. Last year, the Thunder on the Tygart Foundation honored First
Lady Hovah Underwood as mother of the year. She spoke at the house on Mothers
Day and had to resort to the portable facilities. Just a few months later,
the grant came through. Crow said it may be a coincidence, either way she
is just glad to get the money.
The governor and his wife will come back to the
Anna Jarvis home again this year when U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrds wife,
Erma, will be named the 1999 mother of the year. The home is a museum celebrating
Also Tuesday, council agreed to begin a switch from
manual to digital parking meters. Members also voted to increase parking
ticket prices from $2 to $3. If the ticket is not paid within 48 hours,
the price will go up to $5.
PSC to end water board probe
by Troy Graham
The state Public Service Com-mission will drop an
investigation into the Clarksburg Water Boards management of a water district,
as long as none of the groups involved in the investigation object to the
findings of a March 19 report, a PSC attorney said.
The commissions staff members who conducted the
investigation also recommended in their report that the case be dropped.
The PSC had been investigating the water boards management of the Lost
Creek-Mount Clare Public Service District.
The staff cited some questionable practices in
the water boards handling of the district, but did not recommend any disciplinary
The water board voluntarily stopped managing the
Lost Creek district last August. Last week, the PSC approved the merger
of the district into the Greater Harrison Public Service District.
In the staff report, investigators noted that many
of the problems that plagued the Lost Creek district, such as high water
loss and dead water meters, have been corrected by Greater Harrison.
Because many of the problems have been addressed,
PSC staff members said it was time for the Lost Creek district to move
The PSC will give the groups involved with the investigation
the water board, the Lost Creek district board, Greater Harrison and
the Harrison County Commission until April 19 to respond to the report.
The county commission, which requested the investigation
last year, will not object to the findings, said commission President Tom
The PSC scheduled a hearing in Charleston for May
4 to address the matter. But, if no one objects to the findings, the PSC
will can cancel the hearing and drop the case, said PSC attorney Cecelia
High school students getting credits online
by Gail Marsh
Six high school seniors from Harrison and Doddridge
counties are spending time studying in cyberspace and getting college credit
for their online efforts.
The seniors from Liberty, Bridgeport and Doddridge
County high schools are taking part in a distance learning pilot program
offered by West Virginia University. The class, freshman engineering II,
is being taught by Shahab Mohaghegh, an associate professor in WVUs College
of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Participating seniors include Jonathan Davisson,
Ricky Hussman and Jessie Canon from Liberty High School; Justin Van Tromp
from Bridgeport High School; and David Shaver and Holly Bode from Doddridge
County High School. All the students are taking the class on their home
Mohaghegh said the electronic class is offered in
two sections, with one section made up of 38 WVU freshman and the other
class comprised of the area high school seniors. Except for taking the
course by computer, the class has all the features of a regular class,
including lectures, chapter notes, questions and answers, mid-terms and
final exams, Mohaghegh said.
We meet four times a week online, and then the students have access
to numerous help sessions where they can ask questions of the staff in
real time, he said.
Quizzes and homework assignments for the self-paced
course are graded online, and students are able to log on at any time to
read notes from the professor to see if there are areas where they may
need extra help. I try to do everything for the distance learning students
that I would do in a regular class, but its in a digital fashion, he
To take part in the class, the seniors signed up
for the course at Robert C. Byrd High School in January. The students came
back to the school to take the mid-term exam, but they will go to WVU in
early April to take the final exam. Those who pass the final will receive
three hours of college credit.
Jessie Canon plans to major in computer science
at WVU in the fall. He said he has learned much more than he expected about
computer language from the distance learning course.
Ive taken computer classes at Liberty, but this
was much more advanced. And Ive enjoyed the opportunity to work on it
any time I want to because its self-paced, he said.
Thanks to this and other college courses, senior
David Shaver at Doddridge County High School will graduate with 21 hours
of college credit. He also plans to attend WVU in the fall.
Its been great to be able to take the class at
home on my own computer. We just log onto the Internet and they have everything
set up for us, he said.
Upshur schools top post still open
by Gail Marsh
School board members in Upshur County have yet to
find a replacement for the Upshur County superintendent of schools who
will retire at the end of June.
Its not because they havent tried, according to
Gary Frush, Upshur County school board president.
Current Upshur County Schools Superintendent Richard Hoover, who has
held the position since 1995, announced his retirement in December
The superintendents job was posted after the first
of the year, and the board interviewed three candidates in March, Frush
said. We had hoped to fill the position by the end of March, but the individual
we wanted to hire withdrew his name from consideration. So its back to
the drawing board, Frush said. The superintendents job has been posted
again and applications will be taken through Friday, Frush said.
Upshur officials faxed a job description to every
county school board in the state and to the states eight Regional Education
Service Agency (RESA) offices.
Frush said the board will begin reviewing applications
as soon as possible to keep the process moving along.
According to state law, the job must be offered before the end of April
to allow the board to offer the applicant a multi-year contract.
We dont want to have to offer just a 1-year contract
that doesnt even give the person time to unpack before the contract is
up. Thats why its important that the hiring process moves along quickly,
Frush said the biggest challenges facing the new
superintendent will be dealing with a continued decline in enrollment and
a budget deficit in the $400,000 range.
A levy election is slated for May 15 that could
raise $1.4 million a year for five years to help the school board overcome
the deficit and fund some essential services, including the purchase of
textbooks and needed building repairs.
Once the levy vote is in, well know more about
what well need to do in order to take care of the deficit, Frush said.
Right now were just working to get this position filled, he added.