WEEKLY UPDATE

January, in fairly typical fashion, went out with a thud.

Temperatures plunged to record lows, school children got an extended winter break and cars struggled to stay on the road.

To top it off, the clouds broke just in time for our favorite furry prognosticator, French Creek Freddie, to awaken from his slumber, waddle outside his den and get spooked by his shadow. In Groundhog Day lore, that means six more weeks of winter.

The unscheduled ‘winter vacation’ was a blessing in disguise for the school system, however. Last week, Upshur County schools were seeing large numbers of absences as a flu-like illness swept through students and teachers alike.

In other school-related news, this week My Buckhannon broke down the massive education overhaul headed for likely passage in the state Senate.

Local senator Bill Hamilton spoke to us about the reasons opposes the bill. Greg Boso, the other state senator who represents Upshur County, has voted in favor of the measure but did not return a call for comment.

Despite the cold, things are still happening around town. The city is considering adding additional security cameras to parks, the river walk, and other areas – they’ll also help fix your sidewalks.

New Community Church is moving into the old Audrey’s restaurant, and Wesleyan is hosting a free concert Thursday featuring the Grammy winning quartet Turtle Island Quartet.

My Buckhannon also looked back at the controversial syringe access program, which launched last year and saw 30 participants by the end of 2018.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for something to do, our business supporters have great options available.

The 88 Restaurant and Lounge is hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner with several scrumptious options on the menu, like fontina-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates, shrimp bisque with jumbo crap, lobster ravioli and a dark chocolate peanut butter bombe.

Fish Hawk Acres is also hosting a Valentine’s Market Dinner on Feb. 14. They’ll be starting things off with a wild mushroom strudel amuse, followed by Fish Hawk’s signature garden salad and an assortment of homemade breads. The main course is your choice of smoked beef short ribs, gratinéed diver scallops or mushroom and spinach ravioli.

Fish Hawk is also selling fun iced Valentine’s cookies, chocolate covered strawberries and even locally handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards at the market on Main Street.

If you’re looking for a gift that’s a little longer-lasting, be sure to check out Caroline’s Closet at Northridge Plaza. They’ve got the perfect selection of clothes and accessories for that special someone. And if you spend more than $25, you’ll be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card and a dozen roses. The drawing is Feb. 12.

Although it’s not Valentine’s Day specific, the Southern States retail store in Buckhannon is currently running a sale on Carhartt clothing for 25 percent off. The store is just a block off Main Street at 60 North Spring St.

Finally, in a play on the Valentine’s Day theme, the Buckhannon Volunteer Center is hosting a Speed Volunteering event on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Mingle with local organizations and find your perfect match. The volunteer center is requesting participants RSVP by Feb. 7.

On the jobs front, the Learning Center at West Virginia Wesleyan College is looking for a part-time test lab coordinator. This is a great opportunity to help students succeed and make a positive difference in the education of our youth. Questions? Reach out to Shawn Kuba at kuba_s@wvwc.edu.

Also mark your calendars for March 29, when the Gauley River Boys will host a benefit dinner for Seth Poling, who is battling ALS. And if you’re ready to get out of Dodge for a while, local travel agent Leah Ripley can help you plan your next ‘Magical Vacation’ – for free.

We could all use something to smile about — and the Buckhannon Opera House is going to fulfill that desire this March, when the fifth annual West Virginia Comedy Festival comes to town.

That’s it for this week, folks. Everyone at My Buckhannon is looking forward to getting outside as the temperature soars into the 60s on Monday. Have a great week, and thanks for supporting local news!

(Some of the stories linked in this article require a premium membership, which costs less than $7.50 per month and makes My Buckhannon possible. Click here to join. Thanks in advance from Brian, Katie, Monica and the whole My Buckhannon crew.)

Other top stories this week:

Residents express disappointment at commission’s ACP support letter

Dollars and sense: B-UHS awarded financial literacy pilot grant

First tower as part of $3M broadband grant goes up

Obituaries posted on My Buckhannon this week:

John V. McGrew Jr.

Robert ‘Brian’ Anderson II

William Henry ‘Bill’ Durst

Lillian Maxine Westfall

Lee Roy Bennett