Exponent view -- Monday, Feb. 8, 1999
School board needs to make sure kids get to compete
One of the most important lessons children can learn is to always give
their best when given the opportunity.
On Saturday, Liberty wrestler Drake Jenkins and his teammates had planned
on doing just that in the Big 10 Conference wrestling championships.
Unfortunately, Jenkins and his teammates never got the chance.
An illness sidelined Coach Tom Hilton. And two factors combined to
pin Libertys wrestlers before they ever reached the mat:
The Liberty wrestling team has no assistant coach.
The administration wasnt made aware of Hiltons illness until after
Some undoubtedly will blame the coach; others the principal; still
others will fault the Harrison County Board of Education.
The underlying problem is one of apathy toward sports that dont generate
This would never happen to a football team in Harrison or surrounding
counties. Nor would it happen to a basketball team.
But, in the pecking order of high school athletics, this could easily
happen to athletes who participate in wrestling, swimming, tennis, track,
volleyball, baseball, golf and softball.
Most of those sports have just one coach per team. And apparently theres
nothing in place to ensure a suitable replacement is found in a coachs
We know there isnt enough money to have assistant coaches for every
sport. But there needs to be a way to ensure that student-athletes arent
left on the bench just because the coach is ill.
The Harrison County Board of Educaton and its administrative staff
need to pay more attention to these so-called minor sports that oftentimes
have as many, if not more, student-athletes participating than football
The Liberty wrestling team worked many long hours preparing for the
Big 10 wrestling championship. With only a handful of wrestlers, it wasnt
going to win the team title. But it should have been given the chance.
Todays editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board,
which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James
Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
Telegram view -- Monday, Feb. 8, 1999
Fairmont General contract agreement is a healthy outcome
Residents of Marion County can now breathe a collective sigh of relief
as a result of the agreement worked out between Fairmont General Hospital
and union workers in such critical positions as nurses, lab workers and
technicians. The contract was accepted by union members who voted Saturday.
Both sides are satisfied that the new contract meets their needs and
will help preserve the long-term financial health of the hospital, officials
said in a joint statement.
The settlement averted a strike which would have forced the hospital
to cease operations as of today or until a settlement was reached.
Such a disruption in providing health care to Marion County residents
would be catastrophic. Fairmont and all of Marion County have dealt with
numerous setbacks in recent years pertaining to its economic base. A shutdown
at Fairmont General, the countys third largest employer, would certainly
create a ripple effect in the regions economy and have a negative impact
on us all.
These are difficult times in the health care industry. As a result
of managed care and HMOs negotiating lower rates and fewer covered services,
smaller hospitals such as Fairmont General have a difficult time making
it on their own. Other health care providers, such as United Hospital Center
inClarksburg, have opted to affiliate into networks in order to reduce
costs and improve efficiencies, as well as negotiate contracts with HMOs.
Both sides should be commended for averting a strike. The federal mediator
obviously was successful in renewing talks which broke off in December.
Others in the community, such as county commissioners, city officials and
local clergy who held a prayer vigil, deserve credit for rallying the
community around both parties to ensure a compromise was reached.
Marion County needs to ensure the long-term health of Fairmont General.
A strong health care provider helps make a community an attractive place
to invest and create new business. The agreement between the hospital and
the union is a healthy outcome for everyone.
Telegram Editorial Board member
Some notes on old West Union High School, but first ...
Today I want to relate just a little history from the town of West
Union in Doddridge County. But first, if youll allow me, Ill crawl up
on my soapbox and say a few words on behalf of a man I dont even know,
Phil Hudok, who was an Elkins High School chemistry and physics teacher
until he was fired this past Thursday night by the Randolph County Board
The reason for Mr. Hudoks firing was that he refused to enforce the
schools identification tag policy that had previously enacted by the school
That means, I take it, that he didnt make his students wear numbered
school identification tags. He refused to wear one himself, citing his
religious beliefs that the bar codes on the tags are a sign of the mark
of the beast, as mentioned in the book of the Revelation to John in the
I agree with Mr. Hudok in his refusal to wear the bar code and his
choice to not enforce it among his students. In my opinion, if theres
one thing he is not, its a hypocrite.
I respect the fact that policies must be made, whether in schools or
for the protection and betterment of society otherwise thered be anarchy.
I have no qualms with the fact that policies are needed. I just dont happen
to believe for a minute that requiring bar codes on ID tags is a good policy.
Bar codes are fine at the department store or at the supermarket. They
make the hectic job of checkout cashiers much easier in most cases. But
people including students arent cans of vegetables or slabs of meat,
theyre people, for crying out loud! If God meant for us to all be the
same except for a different number, Hed have seen to it that it would
have come to pass.
Now, the subject of West Union. Anne Mish of Center Point, whom Ive
mentioned before as the author of a set of booklets, wrote West Union,
Doddridge County, W.V., Book 2. On its pale green, paperback cover was
a picture of the West Union High School building before 1900.
On one of its pages was a story by the late Alton Childers, a prominent
Doddridge County historian, which appeared in the Herald-Record, West Unions
local weekly paper. Mr. Childers cited two different articles in that newspaper
about the old West Union High School reunion.
Both were excellent explanatory accounts of the planning being done
for the Oct. 16 reunion, to be held at the Doddridge County Park. The first
story was in the Herald-Record for June 30, 1992 (Page 1); the most recent
was in last weeks paper, July 21 (1992, Page 3). These were written by
Edgar Elder, publicity chairman for the WUHS Planning Committee.
In 1984, I placed in the Herald-Record a picture of the Old Red Brick
West Union High School. Louise Thorndell Varner, a graduate of the WUHS
Class of 1926, let me use the picture. I had a 5-by-7 enlargement made
before returning it. This is the above picture. Im sharing it again for
two reasons. 1. This years reunion will be soon. 2. Many of you may not
have seen the original Old Brick Building.
More than 80 people are in the picture. I doubt that anyone is still
living. But many of us knew them or know about them. Just reading their
names awakens memories of them, their families, their businesses and how
important they were and are in the history of our county.
We need to keep in mind that the ... picture is of the original building
which was under construction in 1891. Records show that on Dec. 13, 1889,
Mrs. Mary A. Stuart deeded 4 1/2 acres to the West Union Independent School
District for school purposes. At first, it was an elementary school for
all children in the town. The picture probably was taken in the school
year 1892-93 when only grades first through eighth were in attendance.
West Union High School began in this building in 1900.
That was the one, I believe, that was on the cover of Mrs. Mishs booklet.
Ill have more history about Doddridge County in upcoming BobnAlong
columns. Just thought this little piece of the past was interesting.