City employee receives Rookie Water Operator of the Year Award

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The Buckhannon Water Department continues to rack up awards! This time it’s Justin Atwell receiving accolades as Rookie Operator of the Year, announced at the West Virginia Rural Water Association (WVRWA) Annual Conference recently in Charleston. The award–voted on by association members–is new for 2018, making Atwell the first-ever recipient. Last year, Buckhannon received an award for “2017 Water System of the Year” through the WVRWA. This spring, the water department won second “best tasting water in the state” through the American Water Works Association, and has previously been recognized for meeting and exceeding all water quality standards.

Atwell joined the Buckhannon Water Department as a full-time customer service representative in June of 2015, after previously working at the department as an intern during college in 2009. In April of 2016, he transferred to the water plant operator role. The Water Department Supervisor, Kelly Arnold, shared that Atwell is “a hard worker (who is) helpful, kind, and respectful toward co-workers and the public.”

Atwell enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Jen and her two kids, his family & friends, as well as his two dogs. He enjoys reading, listening to music, and loves his job as a water treatment operator. In addition to his regular duties at the water plant, Atwell is currently taking an electrical class to acquire a journeymen’s electrician license. This will allow him to receive a class 3 public water treatment license.

The Harley A. Brown Memorial Water Plant and Buckhannon Water Department provide water service to more than 4,000 customers in Buckhannon and surrounding area. The Buckhannon system also provides water to four public service districts in Upshur County, serving over 20,000 customers combined. The water plant maintains equipment with the technology to treat and monitor a maximum of 5.56 million gallons of water, averaging over 2 million gallons per day. The department also maintains 42 miles of water lines serving customers throughout the City and surrounding area. To ensure high-quality service, each water department employee holds a valid water distribution license or plant operator license. The City of Buckhannon Water Department is consistently ranked in the top tier of the state’s water systems for both affordability and financial soundness, as well as meeting all health and environmental standards.

Justin Atwell receives the Rookie Operator of the Year award at the West Virginia Rural Water Association Annual Conference.



New Buckhannon Parks and Rec Board wants to create more informative signs for local parks

BUCKHANNON – The new City of Buckhannon Parks and Recreation Board wants to make the city’s parks a little more user-friendly as one of its first official orders of business. Mayor Robbie Skinner presented drafts of potential signage during the […]

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Student public art project back to the drawing board after tests reveal possible issues

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted against approving the placement of a student art project on the sidewalks along the Strawberry Festival parade route after testing the materials involved. Buckhannon-Upshur Middle art teacher Alyssa Murphy previously attended the […]

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Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (Feb. 6) Basketball TUESDAY (Feb. 7) Basketball Swimming WEDNESDAY (Feb. 8) Basketball Swimming THURSDAY (Feb. 9) Basketball Swimming FRIDAY (Feb. 10) Swimming Wrestling SATURDAY (Feb. 11) Acrobatics and Tumbling Basketball Wrestling SUNDAY (Feb. 12)

WVWC Tennis

Wesleyan men’s tennis opens spring season at UC Invite

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s tennis team saw three doubles wins and five singles wins against defending MEC Champion Charleston in the two-day UC Invite. Day 1 WinnersKevin Lin and Camillo Salvi

Poor second half costs ‘Cats in 73-50 setback to Battlers

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team were defeated by Alderson Broaddus on the road on Saturday evening 73-50. The Battlers shot 46% from the field and knocked down eight three-pointers in

Lady ‘Cats drop 63-57 road decision to Alderson Broaddus

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan women’s basketball team dropped a crucial MEC matchup on the road to Alderson Broaddus 63-57 on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Bobcats shot 42% from the field but fell



Nearly $400,000 in Historic Preservation Development Grants available

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Applications are now available for matching historic preservation Development Grants through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the Department of Arts, Culture and History. Eligible projects include the restoration, rehabilitation or

This Week in West Virginia History

Charleston, WV – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at Feb. 5, 1889: Fiddler and self-taught physician James Franklin