Marshall County Commissioner Returns After Sustaining Injury

Photo by Alan Olson Bob Miller, left, returns to the Marshall County Commission after suffering a back injury last month. With him are Commissioners Scott Varner, center, and John Gruzinskas.

Marshall County officials heard Tuesday from Craig White, executive director of the Greater Moundsville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and welcomed back Commissioner Bob Miller after his recovery from injuries he suffered in a fall last month.

During Tuesday’s commission meeting, White gave feedback on local tourism representatives going to Charleston on Monday to speak out against a proposed piece of legislation which would have ended all leases with the former West Virginia Penitentiary. The legislation has since been amended to eliminate that subsection.

“Those were very good meetings they had,” White said. “For every dollar we spend on tourism, eight dollars come back in here. That’s how important you guys have been to us, through Grand Vue (Park), through the Moundsville Economic Development Council, the Palace of Gold. … We’re very excited. The penitentiary’s a huge part of what we do, and we’re really happy to not have to worry about that.”

The commissioners also signed a letter of support for the MEDC, hoping that the amended legislation will endure.

“We’re still going to send a letter of support to the legislators, telling them we support that they continue on this path that had been resolved yesterday, and hopefully it will follow through,” Miller said.

The MEDC and other local representatives met with state officials in Charleston on Monday, where Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy told legislators that he held no particular attachment to the part of the bill terminating leases, in light of the overall value of the bill which continued on after the amendment. The paragraph would have terminated all leases effective immediately, and enabled the State to end leases on the property unilaterally.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners welcomed back Miller, who had been out of commission for exactly one month after phoning in for the last three meetings.

Miller, who still suffers from broken and dislocated ribs and vertebrae after falling on ice while shoveling on Jan. 13, was in good shape Tuesday morning, describing mild discomfort and an inability to sit still for long periods of time.

“The first week was like zero to 10 immediately, on the pain chart,” Miller joked. “Soon enough it was zero most of the time, and then I’d lift an arm and pull a muscle. I had fallen when there was freezing rain and 8 inches of snow. I went down on the pointed edge of a concrete step, right on my back. One rib, broken, dislocated and misaligned right now. The surgeon determined that (surgery) was more risky than leaving it where it is. And I’d had pneumonia when I went to the emergency room, but I’m feeling much better.”

During his time on bed rest, Miller had maintained a presence through teleconferencing at local and state meetings, phoning in to commission meetings.

“I’ve been able to work like that, thank God, for the last four weeks.”