Byrd Brings Golden Trowel

With spring’s arrival, many area residents are preparing for the coming gardening season.

As South Wheeling residents and business owners make their plans for such endeavors, they might want to make an extra effort this year to qualify for a “Golden Trowel” award.

The South Wheeling Preservation Alliance is holding its fourth annual Golden Trowel program to encourage folks to enhance the visual appeal of their property and the neighborhood with potted or hanging flowering plants, decorations and landscaping.

Brother John Byrd, an avid gardener and vice president of the alliance, said, “This project is one way that the neighborhood can celebrate the recently created South Wheeling Historic District and the city of Wheeling’s 250th (anniversary).”

Awards will be given in four categories: front porch or front yard, side yard visible from the street, whimsical and business.

Voting for the Golden Trowel honors will take place in late August or early September. Winners will be announced at the alliance’s Sept. 24 meeting, he said.

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Meanwhile, gardeners who are looking for a place to plant for the upcoming growing season have an opportunity to rent a space in a deer-free community garden operated by the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance.

The community garden is located on Jacob Street, across from Pulaski Park. A few plots are still available to rent for the season. The cost covers access to an on-site water supply and the use of a storage shed for gardening tools and supplies.

Perhaps best of all, fencing at the site keeps plant-destroying deer out of this garden. As many gardeners can attest, few things are more annoying than having a well-kept bed turned into a salad bar by large, four-legged nuisances.

To make reservations for garden plots or obtain more information, call alliance officials at 304-232-3618.

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A new movie, “Mine 9,” has a couple of interesting local connections.

The film was written and directed by Eddie Mensore, son of John “Johnny Joe” Mensore of New Martinsville. The elder Mensore is a well-known singer in the area and owns Mensore Distributing in Wetzel County.

“Mine 9” is being shown now at Marquee Cinemas at The Highlands. As the title suggests, the movie tells the story of nine Appalachian miners who are trapped after a methane explosion. It was filmed partially in West Virginia.

Actor Kevin Sizemore, who grew up in Princeton, stars in “Mine 9.”

Area film buffs will recall that Sizemore starred in “A Christmas Tree Miracle,” the 2013 movie filmed in Wheeling and Belmont County. The actor also was a star of the Wheeling-produced musical, “Ticket to Nashville.”

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West Virginia University will be the site of a special event this week to promote the debut of filmmaker Ken Burns’ new documentary, “Country Music.”

As part of a national tour, a program will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at WVU’s Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.

The film’s writer, Dayton Duncan, and its producer, Julie Dunfey, will show a selection of excerpts from the documentary specific to West Virginia’s country music heritage. Kathy Mattea and Charlie McCoy, both of whom are featured in the documentary, will perform live with the Mountain Stage Band.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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