Series Premiere Planned

“Men Who Built America,” a television series that was filmed partially in the Ohio Valley, is set to premiere on the History Channel at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Scenes for the production were shot at LaBelle Nailworks in Wheeling, at Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum and at steel mill facilities in Weirton, among other locations in the Ohio Valley. A number of area actors participated as extras during the local film shoot.

A trailer for “Men Who Built America” and articles related to the project can be found on the History Channel website. The series explores the lives and careers of John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan who, according to series officials, “rose from obscurity and in the process built modern America.”

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The West Liberty University alumni association will add the names of Jack Adams ’63, Joan Campbell ’62 and Dr. Melvin Sorkowitz ’62 to its Wall of Honor at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, as part of homecoming weekend.

Adams, a resident of McMurray, Pa., earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing, then had a 30-year career with Exxon and later served as president of SJR’s Team Supreme Inc., in Phoenixville and Valley Forge, Pa.

Campbell, a Wheeling native who now lives in Clearview, earned a bachelor’s degree at West Liberty and completed 30 years as an educator in Ohio County Schools. She also served as first lady of West Liberty from 1984-95, during the presidency of her husband, Dr. Clyde D. Campbell.

Sorkowitz, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at West Liberty, became director and originator of the audiology program at the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia. He and his wife, Sondra, formed a hearing aid business, Audiological Consultants Inc. of Pennsylvania, in 1969. Later, he owned and operated manufacturing facilities in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Los Angeles. He opened two professional audiology-hearing aid offices in Boca Raton, Fla., after moving there in 1984.

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As we continue to hear head-shaking accounts of the difficulty that West Virginians are having in renewing their driver’s licenses, I’ve learned that the Mountain State isn’t the only place where logic seems to have taken a holiday.

An 80-year-old woman who lives in Fort Myers, Fla., sent an email message to me last week recounting her own experience with trying to renew a Florida driver’s license. A former Wheeling resident, she was visiting her home in Warwood when she read my column about the difficulties that local women have encountered in renewing driver’s licenses.

“In Fort Myers, Fla., last year, I had to renew my driver’s license. I have lived here since 1960, drove a school bus 10 years and had a chauffeur’s license,” she related.

The woman – who retired from a county school system in Florida after 30 years of service – said she took her birth certificate, a divorce paper from 1973 and a couple other documents showing her identity.

“However, I did not have a marriage certificate showing my name change. I asked them how I could get a divorce without first being married. That didn’t work,” she said.

She had to call officials in Charleston who referred her to Ohio County court officials to request a copy of her 1952 marriage license. “I was given a 30-day extension on my license while I got all the needed papers,” she said.

The woman commented, “Any illegal alien roaming the streets of Fort Myers will get a license with no problem – what a country!!!! It was very frustrating.”

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: