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W.Va. 2, I-68 Improvements Eyed

December 4, 2011
Jim Cochran , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Members of the Moundsville Lions Club this past week received an update on the West Virginia 2/I-68 Authority from its executive director, Charles H. Clements of New Martinsville.

He explained that the authority is composed of 20 individuals, two from each of the 10 counties which comprise the authority.

The authority was created by the state Legislature in 1998, during which time Clements was a freshman legislator and Don Haskins, who was the Lions program chairman for the month, and who introduced Clements at the meeting, was also a member of the Legislature.

The authority works to create better roadways, which in turn hopefully improves the economy. In fact, Clements said at the Lions Club meeting that if indeed an ethane cracker plant is built in southern Marshall County, that W.Va. 2 from Kent to Proctor, a distance of five miles, would attain a high priority meaning that it could be upgraded from two lanes to four lanes.

Should this project be undertaken it would leave only a section from Burch Ridge to Kent as the only part Marshall County being two lanes.

Of course, The Narrows between Glen Dale and McMechen is currently two lanes; however, work is under way to revert that 1.3-mile stretch back to four lanes. This is a $6.24 million project which aims to fix and reinforce the hillside beneath the southbound lanes.

Clements stated that the state Department of Transportation was scheduled this past week to put out for bids a bridge replacement project on W.Va. 2 just south of Burch Ridge.

Clements said, "The current bridge is very dangerous."

According to Clements, it is anticipated that once the contract is awarded, that the bridge could be completed in a year.

As to I-68, Clements said that it does seem to be a priority of state officials. At least it was a couple of years ago. He believes it will take a commitment from the state of Ohio to be willing to build a roadway which would extend from Moundsville through part of the Buckeye State to get this project off the back burner.

If you don't remember, I-68 was projected to be a 48 mile roadway from Moundsville to Morgantown.

It was ironic that a week ago I received an e-mail which had as it's subject, "Vietnam Veterans Statistics."

As you might remember, on Nov. 1 it was announced that the travelingVietnam Wall would be coming to Moundsville in August 2012.

The e-mail was from retired National Guard Lt. Col. Noble W. Lanham, who is now employed at the National Guard Headquarters in Charleston in civilian status.

According to Lanham's e-mail concerning the Vietnam Memorial Wall, "Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.

The last casualty was 36 years ago.

Some of the statistics listed were:

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall; 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 years of age or younger; the largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old; one soldier was 15 years old; 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam; 32 sets of brothers are on the Wall; 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War and 153 of them are on the Wall; Beallsville, Ohio, with a population of 475, lost six of her sons; and West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians' names on the Wall.

Marshall County Courthouse employees were happy to learn this past week that the Marshall County Commission had given them all day off on Dec. 23, and a half-day on Dec. 30, which will give them four days off, Dec. 23-26, and three and a half days off the next week.

Nearly 40,000 pounds of electronic items were disposed of during the recent Marshall County recycling effort. The Marshall County Commission paid $5,800 for this undertaking. In addition, 2,400 tires were disposed, the cost of which was paid for by the state REAP program.

Moundsville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 75 is again this year holding its annual "Kids, Cops and Christmas" fundraising campaign.

It is a program through which participating children with a guardian meet with members of the Moundsville Police Department at the Moundsville Wal-Mart and go Christmas shopping for themselves.

The children, grades K-2, are chosen by their teachers as those who may be in need of a helping hand, and in turn, members of the Police Lodge contact the childrens parents and ask them if they would like their child or children to participate.

Each child is allotted $100 and on average the FOP Lodge members shop with an average with 60 children. The tentative date for this year is 9 a.m. on Dec. 18.

FOP Lodge No. 75 members are asking business owners and others to donate to this effort, and they can do so by mail to Moundsville FOP Lodge No. 75 at P.O. Box 950, Moundsville, by dropping off a donation at the Moundsville Police Department at 608 Tomlinson Ave., or by phoning the police department at 304-845-1611 and an officer will come and pick up the donation.

The Moundsville Opus Music Club will be taking place at 2 p.m. today at the First Christian Church. The public is invited to attend.

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