Weekly News Update: January 20 edition

THE LEVY

The big news of the weekend came Saturday night, when the Upshur County schools special levy was approved in what is believed to be record fashion, with more than two thirds of the votes being cast in favor of the levy.

The result is reflective of the positive work of current superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus; her predecessor, Roy Wager; and the entire administration and staff of our county school system. The levy has and will continue to pay dividends for our county.

The outcome is also interesting because it comes in the wake of last spring’s teacher strike. Education is vital for the future of our state, and improving education begins by improving the attitudes about education. I’m hopeful the levy vote is reflective of a change in that regard.

INDICTMENTS

At the other end of the of the week, the news was not so good as the Upshur County grand jury returned a whopping 54 indictments on Tuesday. That’s a huge number and a marked increase over other recent periods.

The county jail bill is already skyrocketing, and the number of indictments does not portend well for relief in that department.

Kudos to our law enforcement officials though, who continue to work hard to protect our county and make Buckhannon a safe place to live. And don’t miss this story about one local officer who went above and beyond the call of duty to help a local youth struggling with thoughts of suicide.

NEWS FROM OUR LOCAL BUSINESS PARTNERS

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind meal this week, sign up now for the Jan. 27 Old Man Winter Dinner at Fish Hawk Acres. The market is holding two seatings – at noon and 2:30 p.m. – for next Sunday’s $35 feast, which features a rainbow swiss chard and wild rice salad, osso bucco with risotto milanese (veal shanks braised with vegetables and wine) and a chocolate souffle with Baily’s Irish Cream anglaise.

If you’d rather not venture out, everybody’s favorite local pizza buffet – Sam’s Pizza – now offers fully online ordering on their revamped website. When you’re hungry during one of these long winter days, just hop over to samspizzawv.com and you can place your entire order online in seconds. Get it delivered, and that hot deliciousness will show up at your door.

Speaking of long winter days, it’s going to be frigidly cold Monday, with the temperature expected to plunge into the low single digits. If you need to stay warm, Sweco Furniture is there for all your pellet stove needs, whether you’re looking for some supplies or a whole new stove. And if your furnace is struggling to keep up with the heavy demand, the guys at Marple Heating and Cooling offer 24/7 emergency service.

It’s good to layer up as you brave the cold, and Southern States in Buckhannon is running a super sale right now – 25 percent off Carhartt clothing, while supplies last. Stop by and stock up.

In the jobs department, St. Joseph’s Hospital is holding open interviews for senior nursing students on Friday, Jan. 25. Meet the staff, tour the facility and apply for open positions. The interviews will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. in the main lobby of the hospital.

Please support our local business partners, who make what we do at My Buckhannon possible. You won’t find any national syndicated ads on our site; we are community to the core.

SALES TAX

On Thursday, the City of Buckhannon passed the first reading of an ordinance that would add a 1 percent sales tax to goods and services purchased within city limits. The B&O tax will also be lowered slightly.

If approved, the tax can’t be levied until 2020, although the city is looking at some options that would allow them to begin the collection this year.

The motion, which was made possible after approval from the West Virginia home rule board, was approved by council unanimously.

PIPELINE WORK STILL IN LIMBO

Federal court decisions continue to slow down work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, with the latest ruling putting the breaks on new construction until at least March, an ACP spokesman told the Upshur County Commission Thursday.

You will still see some ongoing work as the pipeline can continue construction on certain portions of the project that were already underway at the time of the court ruling.

The commission agreed to draft a letter supporting the project that will be delivered to lawmakers at the federal and state level.

Brian Bergstrom is the founder and owner of My Buckhannon, a digital news and media organization based in Upshur County, W.Va.

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