News for Monday, June 28, 1999
State cites 13 medical waste incinerators
UHC on list of facilities that fail to meet federal emission standards
The Associated Press
CHARLESTON -- Thirteen medical waste incinerators in West Virginia
emit more toxic pollution than federal rules allow, according to the state
Division of Environmental Protection.
A state plan being drafted will require the incinerators to clean up
their act or shut down.
"The effects will be substantial," said Jon McClung, an air quality
permit engineer at DEP.
When medical waste is burned, toxic pollution such as dioxins, hydrogen
chloride and heavy metals are emitted into the air. These emissions are
linked to cancer, birth defects and reproductive disorders.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates its rules, which
were handed down in 1997, will reduce emissions of mercury, dioxins, hydrogen
chloride and particulate matter by more than 90 percent.
Officials of the federal agency say the cost for hospitals and labs
in the United States to comply is between $60 million and $120 million.
That's enough to force up to 80 percent of medical waste burners to close,
EPA officials say.
Jim Kranz, spokesman for the West Virginia Hospital Association, said
the costs of pollution control equipment are too high for smaller hospitals
such as those that operate in West Virginia.
"It's just easier for them to hire a hauler to come in and take it
away," Kranz said.
Facilities also may switch to other disposal methods such as sending
waste to be burned elsewhere.
An incinerator operated by the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston
is one of three of the state's 16 incinerators that will meet the EPA emissions
guidelines. The hospital equipped the incinerator with a pollution control
scrubber and agreed to reduce burning plastic wastes that produce dioxins,
the most toxic of incinerator emissions.
The other 13 incinerators do not meet federal emissions limits for
several pollutants, according to the DEP.
The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, Wheeling Hospital
and Raleigh General Hospital already have decided to close their waste
burners, according to the DEP.
St. Francis Hospital in Charleston has closed its incinerator.
City Hospital of Martinsburg, Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale,
Princeton Community Hospital, the WVU Medical Center and veterans facilities
in Beckley and Huntington are considering closing their incinerators, according
Even the state Department of Health and Human Resources, which regulates
medical waste handling, operates an incinerator that does not comply with
the rules, according to DEP.
Incinerator operators must comply with the federal emissions limits
within three years from the date of EPA approval of the state plan.
Buckhannon Summer Garden Tour II is a bloomin' success
by Gail Marsh
BUCKHANNON -- Joyce Ann and Roy Law sit in the shade of their front
porch and watch while yet another group of people meanders through their
yard, visitors interested in looking at the plush garden beds located throughout
their South Kanawha Street lawn.
The heat is sweltering on Sunday afternoon, but Roy Law leaves the
comfort of the porch to talk about the wooly thyme that grows in a triangular
flower bed fashioned after the style of an English garden. In the
meantime, Joyce Ann Law discusses the home's trees and shrubs and offers
peach ice tea and cookies to any of the visitors who stop by the porch.
The Law home was just one stop on the Buckhannon Summer Garden Tour
II, an Upshur County Chamber of Commerce project that allows the chamber
to raise funds while giving visitors a chance to view some of the area's
The self-guided tour started at Jawbone Park in the downtown area and
spread out to 10 homes located throughout the county, from Country Club
Estates to Stony Run Road, Appalachian Acres and French Creek.
"This is the second year for the tour and it's been very well received.
This year the chamber will use the proceeds to offer a free concert in
August at Jawbone Park," said Jill Cable, president of the Upshur Chamber.
Debbie and Robert Kittle's fenced garden on Red Knob Road includes
a flagstone-lined cement pond, complete with a cascading waterfall and
a family of frogs among the pond's cattails, water hyacinths and lilies.
The Kittle's garden is filled with perennials in circular beds and
is surrounded by maples, oaks and a Rose of Sharon for added privacy. Debbie
Kittle plants pansies, marigolds and other annuals in her garden to lend
the area a splash of color after the perennials have finished blooming.
Kittle said she doesn't really have a green thumb, but she does know
how to add plenty of water and fertilizer to keep her garden green and
"It's a very relaxing place, just enjoying the beauty and listening
to the sound of the waterfall. And my grandchildren enjoy the flowers and
the fish in the pond," she said.
In Country Club Estates, Shari Phillips has managed to incorporate
a memorial to her mother among the lush landscape and flower beds at her
Circle Drive home.
A kidney-shaped flower bed at the rear of the Phillips' home sports
a decorative garden bench covered with pansies, surrounded by a bed filled
with orange day lilies.
"Mother lived with us for two years before she passed away at the age
of 91. We brought these day lilies from her yard and transplanted them
here as a way to remember her," Phillips said.
The novice gardener said she had some professional help with the landscaping
of her yard, but she enjoying planting the inpatiens and other annuals
that add color to the numerous beds. As she's gardened this year and worked
to keep her plants alive during the heat and drought, she said she's noticed
a lot of correlation between plants and life.
"Things that appear so ugly and dead will respond if they are give
a lot of nourishment and care, and hurting people will respond with the
right type of care, too. It takes a lot of patience with plants and with
people to wait for their beauty to come out," she said.
Harrison 911 seeks to remap rural areas
by Troy Graham
A call comes to the 911 center in Harrison County for an ambulance
or a police officer. But the caller lives on a rural route that does not
have a name, in a house that does not have a number. The caller then has
to give directions to the operator.
Or a call comes from someone in a city. But there are two streets in
the city that have the same name as the one the caller lives on. Or the
caller's house has the same number as another on the same street.
Not exactly ideal situations for emergency personnel.
These are problems that many counties face and are trying to fix. In
Harrison County, officials are hoping to kick off a remapping and addressing
program that will eliminate those problems.
"We've had some problems on some extended directions in some of the
real rural areas," said 911 Director Fred Smart.
But a remapping and addressing program would give names to the rural
routes, eliminate duplicate street names and numbers, and assign street
numbers to houses that don't have them.
The program doesn't mean, though, that common street names in several
towns, like Main Street, would have to be changed, Smart said.
The 911 center will look at presentations this summer from private
firms that do this kind of remapping work, he said. The goal is to start
the program next spring, when the company can take aerial photographs of
the county, Smart said.
The problem is particularly glaring with rural routes, he said. According
to the state Division of Highways, there are more than 1,000 miles of those
roads in the county, he said.
Officials will have to decide exactly how to address those problems,
such as whether actual street signs should be erected. Smart also said
he wants to work with residents on those roads to select their names.
The process should take 12-24 months, he said, and cost between $300,000-$350,000.
More than $100,000 has already been set aside out of the 911 budget, Smart
Once the project is completed, emergency personnel will be provided
with a map book that outlines all the streets, he said.
"It simply is something that needs done," Smart said.
Heat wave has area residents looking for a big chill
Air-conditioner sales climbing; doctor's advice is to play it cool
by Gail Marsh
It's not too late to think about replacing that groaning air-conditioning
unit -- the one that's been belching out a little smoke along with a dismal
amount of cool air.
Though there may be some short-term relief in sight, North Central
West Virginia's heat wave is expected to continue well into next week.
And local appliance retailers say they have the sales to prove it.
Air conditioners have been selling like hotcakes, but store personnel
say they still have an adequate supply.
"We have plenty of units in stock right now, but it seems like there's
been a lot more interest in them lately," said John Spino at Rex TV and
Appliances at Meadowbrook Mall.
A spokeswoman at Circuit City in Eastpointe said the electronics outlet
has been selling air conditioners as fast as the store can get them in.
Sales have been tremendous, but supplies continue to come in every week,
John Victory, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in
Charleston, said the area can expect a little break in the heat with some
clouds and a chance of showers later this afternoon. But the break will
be short lived, he said.
"Things may cool off a little Tuesday and Wednesday with some rain
moving in, but temperatures will go back up as we head toward the end of
the week," he said.
With the rise in temperatures and humidity, it's always a good idea
to limit outdoor activities to the cooler hours of the day. Dr. Kelly Nelson,
a physician at Medbrook Medical Center in Bridgeport, cautioned that the
elderly and the very young are the easiest targets of heat-related problems.
"Older people and children are especially prone to heat exposure, but
anyone can be affected. Our bodies aren't equipped to handle the heat and
the humidity, and that's the combination we've had lately," he said.
Nelson said people going out into the heat should wear light clothing
and sunblock and drink "lots and lots of fluids." Anyone who has to work
outside should do so in the more temperate parts of the day, he said.
Nelson said pre-planning is the best defense against the heat. Waiting
for warning signs, such as lethargy and loss of coordination, can spell
trouble, he said.
"By the time any warning signs occur, you're already experiencing an
emergency medical situation," he said. "The person should be taken in to
be evaluated and probably given intravenous fluids."
Blue Knights keep rolling in memory of Jessica
Motorcycle-riding policemen's club fund-raiser honors Summit Park girl
by James Fisher
Although it has been nearly eight years since Jessica Ramsey, a 5-year-old
heart transplant recipient from Summit Park, died, a local motorcycle club
still remembers the little girl.
The Blue Knights of West Virginia, Chapter II, held its ninth annual
Jessica Ramsey Memorial Dice Run earlier this month and raised about $600
for two charities.
More than 200 people and about 120 riders, many from out of state,
participated in the day's events, said Harrison County Sheriff's Department
Sgt. Ed Martin, who is secretary for the Blue Knights.
All the money raised benefited the March of Dimes and the Ronald
McDonald House, he said.
"We get a real mixture of people from different places. We always get
a real good turnout," Martin said of the run. "Eighty to 90 percent are
the same people every year. They're very faithful supporters of this event."
The Blue Knights is a national motorcycle club of current and retired
police officers who ride as a hobby.
The first run was held in 1991, Martin said, to help raise money for
Jessica's heart transplant. The Blue Knights were able to raise about $1,200
that first year. Jessica got her new heart, but died that fall from other
complications, he said.
"We talked to the family and asked to name the run after Jessica,"
Martin said. "They said yes, and we've been having it every year since
then. They come every year. It's great that they've supported us like they
have and it makes them feel good because the community is remembering their
Riders started at the Anmoore Fire Department and rode over to Stonewood,
across Route 57, on U.S. 119 and U.S. 20 to Buckhannon. Riders then went
to Weston, Jane Lew and took U.S. 19 past Rosebud Plaza and back to Anmoore.
Riders stopped at checkpoints along the way to roll dice in a
The rider with the highest total score at the end of the run earned
a prize, Martin said.
The Blue Knights sponsor several fund-raisers throughout the year,
The Dice Run is the last fund-raiser of the year until December, when
the Blue Knights sponsor a program that allows needy children to shop for
Aside from fund-raising, the Knights participate in other events throughout
Last weekend, Chapter II sponsored a weekend getaway at Canaan Valley
Resort called Wild & Wonderful Knights.
Members of the Blue Knights from across the country traveled
hundreds of miles for the special weekend.
"It's just a nice weekend to visit with old friends, meet new friends,
wind down, de-stress and share good camaraderie," Sgt. Martin said.
Local and area news briefs
Kanawha County rider critical after ATV accident
CHARLESTON (AP) -- An all-terrain vehicle rider was in critical condition
at Charleston Area Medical Center Sunday following an accident in Campbells
Creek, Kanawha County.
The 32-year-old man was riding closely behind another vehicle Saturday,
the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said. Dust clouded the rider's
vision and contributed to the wreck, a department spokesman said. No additional
details were immediately available. The sheriff's office would not release
the man's name Sunday.
Emergency workers said as many as 50 riders were in the hills around
Campbells Creek at the time of the accident.
Huntington, human relations agency face off in court
HUNTINGTON (AP) -- The Huntington Human Relations Commission has sued the
city of Huntington, seeking to clarify who has authority over the agency's
actions. The commission, which serves as an advocate for residents who
claim discrimination, filed its lawsuit Friday in Cabell County Circuit
Court in Huntington.
The civil case involves conflicts over how the agency's money is spent
and the location of its office.
The commission has been homeless for more than two months following
a fire at the City Hall annex. The city offered rent-free space in a former
high school, but the commission rejected the offer because of concerns
for safety and accessibility. The city also offered space in offices of
the Sanitary Board, but Mark Hayes, a lawyer for the commission, said agency
officials have reservations about the offer.
Stabbing leaves one dead in Huntington
CHARLESTON (AP) -- A stabbing in Huntington has left one victim dead.
Richard Lee Hatfield Jr., 37, of Huntington was arrested by Huntington
police at the scene of a fatal stabbing at about 4 a.m. Saturday. He was
arraigned Saturday in Cabell County Magistrate Court, police said. The
stabbing occurred at his house, police said.
Police did not release additional details, including the victim's identity,
which was being withheld pending family notification. His body was to be
taken to the state Medical Examiner's office in South Charleston.
Governor touts economic future in McDowell County
BLUEFIELD (AP) -- Gov. Cecil Underwood says that he wants to use
his post as co-chairman of a federal-state economic development agency
to target poverty in McDowell County.
"We'll put together an overall plan for the county," he said at a recent
meeting of the Princeton Rotary Club at Concord College. "We believe if
we can find a way to turn around McDowell County, we can turn around any
depressed county in Appalachia."
He labeled McDowell the "worst economically depressed county in all
Appalachia." Underwood is co-chairman this year of the Appalachian Regional
Commission., a 13-state regional economic development agency.
The governor and officials of the agency, a federal-state program,
met recently with McDowell County's mayors, county commissioners and board
of education members to discuss economic development proposals
Underwood also said he and about 90 West Virginia bankers met in Raleigh
County Wednesday and discussed establishing loan programs to help start
Southern West Virginia can draw on the success of Homer Hickam's book,
"Rocket Boys" and the film, "October Sky," Underwood said. Officials of
Coalwood are developing the area where Hickam and high school friends staged
rocket experiments in the 1950s, the governor said.
The governor said national publicity for the book and movie could attract
tourists to McDowell County.
"We have to learn to build something on what's here," Underwood said.
Virginia man killed when car flips over
CHARLES TOWN (AP) -- A Virginia man was killed when the car he was riding
in drove up an embankment and flipped on a Jefferson County highway.
David Allen Rinker, 23, of Middletown, Va, was pronounced dead at the
The car was traveling west on state Route 9 just inside the state line
when the accident occurred about 3:25 a.m. Thursday, Jefferson County Chief
Deputy Jesse Jones said.
The other person in the car, Pete Colvin, 24, of Millville was taken
to INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. Hospital officials did not immediately
respond to telephone calls about his condition.
It's unclear who was driving the car, sheriff's deputies said.
Fun in the sun ...
State boasts many activities, from hiking to rafting, only a short drive
by Jessica Laton
West Virginia's country roads can take the avid traveler to many interesting
places, and one woman has tracked them all.
The state offers day and weekend trips unique to the country, according
to a day-trip book written for the state Division of Tourism. From
mountain climbing to mineral baths, the state has a wide variety of activities
to keep a traveler interested.
"For a relatively small state, it has so many diverse activities,"
said Matt Turner, a public information specialist for the West Virginia
Division of Tourism.
"In each area of the state there is a different feel. Each area has
it's own taste."
Colleen Anderson, author of ''The New West Virginia Day Trip Book,''
spent six months traveling around West Virginia and writing about what
"I went to some favorite places, and I discovered a lot of new places,"
One of the closest day trips to make is to the Morgantown area, best
known as the home of West Virginia University. The Creative Arts Center
offers concerts, plays and speakers.
While in the area, travelers can visit Coopers Rock State Forest, which
spreads across two counties, Monongalia and Preston, and includes 12,000
Coopers Rock State Forest overlooks the Cheat River at an elevation
of 1,200 feet. Camping, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and rock climbing
are all available at Coopers Rock.
West Virginia ski resorts also offer summer activities. Snowshoe Mountain
has a summer program with the state's largest chili cookoff, the region's
largest Fourth of July fireworks display, scenic lift rides, golf tournaments,
mountain bike camps and races.
The resort also holds a Labor Day Jazz Festival, a Symphony Festival
Weekend and an Outdoor Adventure program. The outdoor program includes
mountain biking, sporting clay range, BMX racing, climbing, hiking, a skatepark,
flyfishing school and guide service.
If you are sticking to parks, Canaan Valley offers an outdoor swimming
pool and hiking trails. The ninth annual Celebration of the Arts will take
place there July 3.
The "Revenge of the Rattlesnake" Race is at Canaan on July 18. The
annual bike race goes from Blackwater Falls to Canaan Valley.
Summer Fest runs from Aug. 27 to 29 at Canaan and includes a Scottish/Irish
heritage concert, along with Irish theme food tasting.
One outdoor activity that always comes to mind in West Virginia is
The New River Gorge, in the southern part of West Virginia, celebrated
its 30th year of commercial rafting.
The gorge is 1,000 feet in depth and 53 miles of its course are designated
as the New River Gorge National River.
Besides rafting trips, rafting outfits also offer canoe trips, kayaking
"The rafting in West Virginia is the best in the East," said
Turner. "There is no stopping the excitement on the New River."
West Virginia's capital city, Charleston, also offers a different view
of the state. The Capitol complex, Governor's Mansion and Cultural Center
are a great tour, according to Anderson.
The Capitol Market, on Smith Street in Charleston, offers unique shopping
to the area. Open seven days a week, the indoor/outdoor market offers shoppers
fresh fruits and vegetables, plants and flowers, seafood and meat, arts
and crafts, wine and food vendors.
Huntington is the antique capital of West Virginia, according to Turner.
The Huntington Museum of Art is West Virginia's largest art museum. It
has historic and art glass, a sculpture garden, an art library, a theater
and concert hall and the state's only plant conservatory.
A unique area of the state in the Eastern Panhandle has shopping and
spas for a relaxing weekend. Berkeley Springs, also known as Bath, has
five spas and several outlet and antique shops that cater to the entire
"It is an easy weekend trip," said Turner.
Many people from the Washington, D.C., area and Maryland also travel
to the Eastern Panhandle for its mineral baths and outlet malls.
Berkeley Springs has been named one of America's best small art towns
because of its variety of art galleries, concerts and bed and breakfasts.
Anderson also suggests some non-traditional vacations spots in West
Pike Knob in Pendleton County, about a half-mile southwest of U.S.
Route 33 in the Potomac Range district, covers 1,000 acres and is filled
with red wood pine trees.
"It is absolutely one of the best views anywhere," said Anderson.
Anderson also suggests Hampshire County as a nice vacation spot or
place to visit.
"It is just about the best. It has ridges and rolling hills and
open vistas," said Anderson. "That is an absolutely gorgeous place."
Heritage tourism, which is historical and war sites, is the fastest
growing tourism in America, according to a study sponsored by the Travel
Industry Association of America.
"It's growing," said Turner. "It is something we are promoting because
it is seen as something to market."
West Virginia has several historical sites that can be visited in a
day. The Grafton National Cemetery in Taylor County contains the graves
of three of the first Union soldiers killed by Confederate forces in the
The Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville is where
a Union victory over Confederate troops helped West Virginia become a state.
The park offers scenic views, hiking and picnicking.
At Blennerhassett Historical State Park, in Parkersburg, you can ride
a sternwheeler to Harman Blennerhassett's 18th-century reconstructed mansion.
Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum in West Virginia's first capital city,
Wheeling, has 18th-and 19th-century furniture, glass, china, guns and pewter
sets in period rooms for touring.
The West Virginia State Museum in Charleston is in the lower level
of the Cultural Center. The museum follows Indian migration during the
For more information on trips and activities in West Virginia, call
the state Division of Tourism at 1-800-CALLWVA.
Cool caves offer summer retreat
by Nora Edinger
Something to keep in mind as the summer progresses --whether the air
temperature is a cool 70 or 105, the air in caves always remains in the
The exact temperature, "depends on how far under the ground you go,"
said Terry Barnett, office manager of Smoke Hole Caverns in Seneca
While the temperature at Smoke Hole is a constant 56 degrees, other
West Virginia caves vary from 52 to 58 -- all plenty cool enough to provide
a welcome retreat from the heat.
Once your crew is cooled off, there's plenty to do, as well. A
number of commercially operated caves are available for tours throughout
central and southern West Virginia. In each of them, visitors will find
dramatic geological features formed drip by drip over vast stretches of
Tours visit cave features such as Niagara Falls Frozen Over, the Fruit
Chimney, the Crystal Cave Coral Pool and Snowy Chandelier -- offering "an
inexpensive way to see something that's entertaining but still educational,"
While tours are generally guided, prospective spelunkers should remember
to wear secure and comfortable footwear for safety on the steps and walkways
that are a part of most tours. Consider bringing a sweater or jacket,
Here is a sampling of West Virginia's underground vacation destinations:
-- Lost World Caverns -- A stream runs through these caverns, located
10 minutes outside Lewisburg. Self-guided tours are available 9 a.m. to
7 p.m. daily through Labor Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Labor Day and
Thanksgiving and by request thereafter. Picnic facilities and a gift shop
are also available.
Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-13 and free for
children 4 and younger.
Guided "wild" cave tours of more than four hours are available by request
at $45 per person.
Special features include the Showcase, a massive series of subterranean
rooms, and the Snowy Chandelier, a 30-ton compound stalactite formed of
pure white calcite.
For more information, call 645-6677.
-- Organ Cave -- Located near Lewisburg, Organ Cave is named for an
impressive geological formation that emits musical tones when struck with
a rubber mallet. Other interesting notes: It has 40 miles of mapped passages,
was used as a saltpeter mine by Confederate soldiers and yielded the skeleton
of a prehistoric three-toed sloth to Thomas Jefferson.
Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1
p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Winter hours begin Nov. 1. Tours leave every half
hour. Admission is $10.60 for adults, $5.30 for children 6-12 and free
for children 5 and younger. Group rates are available. Wild tours of two
to eight hours are available by request. Charges vary.
Also offered is RV camping, picnic and playground facilities,
a snack bar and rodeo grounds. Weekend activities are offered throughout
the summer months.
For more information, call 645-7600 or visit www.organcave.com.
-- Seneca Caverns -- Located 40 minutes southeast of Elkins, Seneca
Caverns features a massive flowstone formation called Niagara Falls Frozen
Over, the quartz-studded Candy Mountain and the Grand Ballroom, complete
with a natural balcony. The cave also offers bags of sand from international
gem-rich sites that "miners" can sift for potential rubies, diamonds and
A modified tour is also available for limited mobility visitors by
Seneca Caverns is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. until Labor Day,
with tours of 45 to 55 minutes leaving every 20 minutes. Winter hours vary.
Admission is $8 for adults, $4.75 for children 6-12 and free for children
5 and younger. Senior, AAA and group rates are available.
Restaurant, picnic and grilling facilities are also on site.
For more information, call 567-2691 or visit www.senecacaverns.com.
-- Smoke Hole Caverns --Located in Seneca Rocks, 45 minutes northeast
of Elkins, Smoke Hole Caverns offers a full vacation facility. In addition
to 45-minute tours that start every half hour between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
daily, the caverns are surrounded with log cabins and motels, a wildlife
museum, a gift shop and a variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Smoke Hole Caverns -- named for the smoke that drifted out of cave openings
when Seneca Indians used them as a venison-smoking site -- are best known
for features such as the Crystal Cave Coral Pool, a natural feature found
in only one other known location in the world, and the sparkling Room of
a Million Stalactites, the second highest ceiling of any eastern U.S. cave.
Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for children 5-12 and free for children
4 and younger.
Call 1-800-828-8478 or visit www.smokehole.com for more information.
Fairs and festivals to be found across the region
by Jessica Laton
West Virginia is full of fairs and festivals in the summer, offering
arts and crafts, music and cultural entertainment through the summer and
into the fall.
"West Virginia is the heart of Appalachia and as Appalachians we enjoy
our fairs and festivals," said Matt Turner, public information specialist
for the West Virginia Division of Tourism. "It is just a down-home time."
Salem has several festivals throughout the summer.
The Old-Time Summertime Social runs all summer at Fort New Salem.
On July 10, 17 and 24, beginning at 7 p.m., there will be Front Porch
Concerts at the Fort. Joe Dobbs, United Voices and the Appalachian Bass
Quintet will perform. There will also be free sweets.
In August, Dulcimer Weekend will be held at the Fort to celebrate the
unique musical instrument. Participants can learn how to play the dulcimer,
listen to professionals play and even make one of their own.
"They (the festivals) are really family orientated," said Kyra Schlosser,
assistant at Fort New Salem.
"We want to get people out here. It is a nice relaxing service."
For more information, contact Fort New Salem at 782-5245.
The fifth annual Benedum Festival in Bridgeport kicks off Sunday, July
11, with a reception after a service at Bridgeport United Methodist Church
to honor Michael Benedum, founder of the Benedum program.
On Thursday, July 15, the annual Benedum Festival awards banquet with
guest speaker Ken Hechler will be held. Awards will honor citizens for
outstanding service and contribution to the community. On July 16, families
are invited to a pool party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Benedum Civic
Center Pool in Bridgeport. There will be a disc jockey and games.
Saturday, July 17, is the Benedum Festival's big day, with a 5K run
that begins at 8:30 a.m. at Bridgeport Middle School. A pet parade at 10
a.m. will also be held at the school. At 11:30 a.m., an in-line skate race
will be held at the high school. A street fair will be at the school grounds
all day, with food vendors, crafts, games and entertainment into the evening.
For more information, call 842-8240.
The Battle of Laurel Hill Festival will be held at Laurel Hill in Belington
from July 16 to 18. Historical entertainment is on the agenda for the weekend
at the Civil War battlefield. The three-day event is open to the public.
Opening ceremonies start at 7 p.m. on Friday. The weekend will consist
of a re-enacted battle, a history tour of the cemetery and battlefield,
a parade, a period church service, along with many other activities for
history buffs. For more information, contact Aaron or Sharon Cross at 823-3123.
Beverly Days in Beverly will be July 26 to 31. All week the festival
will have activities at the town square. Cake walks, a queen's pageant,
square and modern dance, fireworks, chicken barbecue and a parade are all
on the agenda.
For "free entertainment and family fun," head to Clarksburg City Park
in Nutter Fort in August. On the weekend of Aug. 5-7, the 1999 West Virginia
Blackberry Festival will have lots of food, crafts and novelties, a carnival
and fireworks. Contact Dolores Terango at 623-2381 for more information.
The Augusta Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College has a summer
program that is unique to the area.
From June to August, the college hosts craft classes, dance classes,
folklife and folklore and Elderhostel. Elderhostel is an international
program for people over 55 that teaches folk culture. Week-long programs
include swing week, old-time week, Irish week, Cajun/Creole week, blues
week, bluegrass week and vocal week. Contact the college at 637-1209 for
West Virginia is full of festivals this summer. County fairs and art
festivals take place all over the state. These are just a few in the area.
For a book of all of West Virginia's fairs and festivals, call the West
Virginia Division of Tourism at 1-800-CALLWVA.
Glass factory tours a clear favorite in the summertime
by Nora Edinger
Editor's note: Now that summer is in full swing, tourists are flocking
to the Mountain State to enjoy all kinds of activities. There are plenty
of things for native West Virginians to do, too. More stories can be found
on pages A8, A9, and A10.
Could watching lead turn into gold be any more interesting? Ordinary
sand, lime, soda ash and a fiery blast combine to produce the extraordinary
-- West Virginia glass.
Throughout the Mountain State, master craftsmen are producing glass,
fine art and household items using techniques that have been handed down
through centuries. And, you are invited to watch.
"He's right there," said Tracy Masuga, secretary and bookkeeper at
Hinkles Dying Art Glassworks in Buckhannon, of craftsman Ron Hinkle. "We've
had walk-ins all day. You just sit in a chair and watch him work."
Hinkle makes a wide variety of art pieces -- from plates to paperweights
to vases -- that are sold in the adjacent showroom. Some parts of the day
include shaping or blowing molten glass and other times are devoted to
finishing pieces that have slowly cooled in the shop's kiln. That variety
means every day's demonstration is a little different.
"It all depends on what he's making," Masuga said. "Like some vases,
there are four layers of glass."
In addition to Hinkles, a number of local glass factories have special
tour and demonstration programs that are available at no charge to visitors.
Here is a sampling of what's available this summer:
-- Fenton Art Glass Co. -- Factory tours begin every 40 minutes 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 12:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays at this Williamstown business. The factory closes for a two-week
vacation in early July. Groups larger than 20 should call ahead.
Children younger than 2 are not permitted in the factory area. Visitors
are discouraged from wearing sandals or other non-sturdy footwear. Hot
days are especially warm in the factory and employees caution heat-sensitive
individuals to plan their visit accordingly.
For more information, call 304-375-7772 or visit www.fentonartglass.com.
-- Gentile Glass Co. Inc. -- This Star City establishment specializes
in colorful paperweights, which visitors can watch being made weekday mornings
from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The company
takes a vacation at some point in the summer and requests visitors call
ahead at 304-599-2750.
-- Hinkles Dying Art Glassworks -- Located on Route 9 in Buckhannon,
Hinkles offers demonstrations 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
in its gallery/factory. Groups larger than 15 should call ahead. Picnic/grilling
areas and a playground are available on site.
For more information, call 304-472-7963 or visit www.hinklesglass.com.
-- Masterpiece Crystal -- This Jane Lew factory and showroom specializes
in hand-blown, lead-free crystal. Tours of the factory are conducted every
half hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 1-800-524-3114.
-- Mid-Atlantic of West Virginia Inc. -- Visitors can walk through
the factory at this Ellenboro establishment. Glass is blown 9:30 a.m. to
5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Mid-Atlantic is experienced in accommodating
large groups and tour buses.
For more information, call 304-869-3351.
Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg,
WV 26302 USA
Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999