How the Brushy Fork Event Center staff turned troubles into triumphs
The Brushy Fork Event Center is ready to host everything from elegant weddings to corporate conferences. And when things don't go exactly as planned, the skilled staff is ready do what it takes to ensure every event is a success.

How the Brushy Fork Event Center staff turned troubles into triumphs

BUCKHANNON – Preparations for the wedding reception were almost complete. The baker had carried in an exquisite white wedding cake covered in delicate flowers and was arranging it while the…

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Local doctor finds common ground over coffee
Dr. Ali Khan and his son, Asad D. Khan

Local doctor finds common ground over coffee

BUCKHANNON – For decades, one local doctor has helped treat patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease and other ailments. Now, he and his son have decided to try and heal something quite different – the divisiveness that has spread with the rise of social media.

They’re doing it by forging connections and hosting conversations in the real world.

Like many people, Dr. Ali Khan is bothered by a troubling inability for people to reach common ground online. As an immigrant and a Muslim, he’s been the target of discrimination – especially via memes and comments on social media.

Khan knows he’s not the only person who’s felt excluded or left out, and he believes the misunderstandings that often lie at the root of such divisions are hard to overcome in a Facebook comment or 128-character Tweet. So he and his son have been calling people who might have questions about their faith or other issues and inviting them out for coffee.

“What Derya (Khan’s son) and I try to do is to meet folks regularly,” he said. “Every Saturday or Sunday, we call somebody, somebody who may be on the extreme right side, or on the extreme left side, or maybe somebody we just don’t know that well.”

“I’ll say to Derya, I think we should invite this person out and sit down and talk to them,” Khan explained. “We have to have a dialogue. We go out there, we have coffee with them, we sit down, and we talk about it. The most important thing is to talk: That’s why I want anybody who has any questions about the Muslim faith, or any faith, or they feel that ‘other people’ are not welcome in this country, come sit down with me.”

Khan said the person-to-person meetings came about as he recognized his own anger and frustration while using social media and sought a better way to communicate with people, especially those of different beliefs.

“I see a lot of anger out there, and that anger has to go,” Khan said, noting that applies to himself as well. “I admit, I get angry at times, and if there’s any way we can all get together and work on that, that’s the way to do it.”

Khan said the resulting person-to-person conversations tend to reveal more about what people have in common than what separates them.

“If I can sit down and talk [with someone who has an opposing view], they are my friends,” Khan said. “If I give them my reasoning, and they give me their reasoning, and we talk about history and we talk about the Constitution, and it turns out that our views are similar about most issues, but maybe we just interpret things differently – we are friends.

“What I want is for people to understand each other and for people to say, ‘Hold on, before I make any judgments or throw something at anybody, I sat down with that person, I had coffee with that person, I ate with that person, and he or she gave me these ideas. Let me go check it out; let me read about it.’”

(more…)

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Mayor proposes water summit aimed at stopping leaks in State of the City address
City recorder Randy Sanders, at left, and councilman CJ Rylands listen as mayor David McCauley, center, delivers the 'state of the city' address at Thursday night's council meeting.

Mayor proposes water summit aimed at stopping leaks in State of the City address

BUCKHANNON – The mayor of Buckhannon on Thursday proposed a countywide water summit aimed at addressing the number of water leaks that occurred throughout the city and county during 2019.…

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Council taps committee to look at salary levels for elected positions
Councilman David Thomas advocates increasing the annual compensation for elected positions, noting they have not been adjusted in 16 years. Also pictured is councilwoman Pam Bucklew.

Council taps committee to look at salary levels for elected positions

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon City Council on Thursday voted 4-2 to appoint a committee to consider the question of raises for council members and the mayor. Although the committee will make…

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