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Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca Ending a Family Tradition

The name Edward Kuca has been connected with city government in Benwood for 56 of the past 60 years.

It started in 1960 when Edward Kuca Sr. was elected to city council. He would go on to serve 24 years.

While there was no Kuca in city government from 1984 through 1987, in 1988 a new Kuca was elected to city council, that being Ed Jr. who would serve in that position for 15 years.

When Larry Ferrera Jr. decided not to seek reelection as mayor in 2003, who would step forward? None other than Ed Kuca Jr., and he would remain in that office for 17 years.

But there is no Kuca name on the upcoming election ballot as Ed Jr., didn’t file for reelection. He decided that it was time to step down after serving 32 years as a council member and mayor.

He said, “Our daughter lives in the state of Georgia, and we will have more time to spend with her family after my term expires on June 30.”

He added, “I have enjoyed being a part of city government, just as my father did.”

Although nine city of Moundsville residents expressed interest in serving the final 11 months of a council seat, it isn’t that way in the three Marshall County municipalities — Benwood, Cameron and Glen Dale — where there are no races for 10 council positions. Benwood and Cameron both have competition for their offices of mayor.

In Benwood, with mayor Ed Kuca Jr., not seeking re-election, two current councilmen have filed for that seat. They are Chuck Terry, who has been a councilman for 18 years, and Walter Yates, who has served 30 years as councilman.

In Cameron, Mayor Betty Scott is being challenged by current Councilman Greg Galentine for mayor.

Thus in the three cities which will be holding their municipalities on May 12 in conjunction with the national, state and county primary election, there are a total of 13 seats open with only two contested.

As to the city of Benwood ballot, those seeking council seats are: First Ward — Steven Ankrom. That office is currently held by Chuck Terry. Second Ward: Incumbent John Kazemka. Third Ward: Incumbent Lori Longwell. Fourth Ward: Incumbent Robert Green, who was named to fill an unexpired term.

Holdover council members are Curt Mele, first ward; Larry Ferrera III, second ward; Walter Yates, third ward; and Robert Rose, fourth ward; and police Chief Frank Longwell, all with two years remaining.

The city of Cameron ballot consists of incumbent Terri Galentine, first ward; incumbent Sarah Burge, second ward; and John Winters, third ward.

Holdover council members are Kenny Richmond, first ward, Sherry Johnson, second ward and Greg Galentine, third ward.

In Glen Dale voters will not have any competition as incumbent Mayor David Blazer is running unopposed, as is recorder Gerald Trembush. Voters will elect three council members, with incumbents Larry English, John Zinn and Eric Cunningham the only three on the ballot. Holdover council members are Eric Anderson and Lou Richmond.

Getting back to the vacant Moundsville council seat, council members decided to interview three of the nine persons who expressed an interest in serving, and following the interviews selected Brianna Hickman to assume that seat.

Also on the Marshall County primary ballot for May 12 are:

For sheriff — Ed Trojan Coster and William Helms, both on the Democrat ticket.

For assessor — Eric B. Buzzard and Terry D. McDiffitt, both Democrats.

Magistrate (non-partisan)–Zachary B. Allman, Don DeWitt, Mark A. Kerwood, Thomas P. Wood.

Board of Education (non-partisan ticket), elect two — Jack Cain, Lori E. Kestner, John W. Miller, Timothy F. Reilly, Adam Truex.

County Commission — Scott G. Varner, Democrat.

Prosecuting Attorney — Joe Canestraro, Democrat.

Jordan Dotson, a senior at Cameron High School, has been selected as a candidate for the prestigious United States Presidential Scholars Program.

Dotson, the daughter of Russell and Jodi Dotson, was chosen based on her career and technical education (CTE) accomplishments at CHS. She is one of only five CTE students to qualify in West Virginia.

All CTE students must be endorsed by their chief state school officer, with Dotson’s recommendation being Dr. Steven Paine, the West Virginia state superintendent of schools.

Nominees go through a lengthy application procedure, including essays, self-assessment, secondary school reports and transcripts to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Applications are then evaluated on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership service, extra curricular activities and essay contest.

Some 800 students will qualify as semifinalists of one of the nation’s highest honors for students. Those names will be disclosed the week of April 13. The Commission of Presidential Scholars will review the semifinals based on the same criteria used by the review committee, and on May 4, the commission will announce up to 161 United States Presidential Scholars.

The finalists will be invited to the Washington, D.C., where they will receive Presidential Scholars medallions at the White House.

Dotson is also a stand-out both locally and statewide for her participation and performance in the 4-H and FFA organizations. She is enrolled in the agribusiness and plant systems programs.

Dotson ranks ninth out of 43 CHS students and has a cumulative GPA of 3.37, with straight A’s this year.

She has taken various honors and AP classes throughout her four years at CHS, and is involved in many clubs and organizations and has held some officer positions such as 2019-2020 president of the Cameron FFA Chapter, secretary for Future Business Leaders of America, treasurer for the National Technical Honor Society, historian for the National Honor Society, and has been a member of the drug-free club for six years, and a member of the Archery Club for six years.

She has been a member of the Marshall County Livestock Club for 10 years and has been involved in 4-H for nine years. She enjoys showing livestock at the Marshall County Fair, and this year will be exhibiting a steer, hog and lamb. She has competed in multiple FHA competitions in the past few years, as well as participating in community service projects.

By the way, this year’s Cameron High School Ham, Bacon and Egg Auction will take place on March 4 at the Moundsville Fairgrounds. This will be the 41st event.

The Marshall County Health Department has announced clinics and programs for February as follows:

Immunization Clinics on Mondays, Feb. 3, 10 and 24, from 9-11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m. No appointment is necessary although physician state referrals are need at time of visit. The clinics are for childhood and back-to-school immunizations, including childhood seasonal flu vaccinations.

PPD (TB) Skin Testing Clinics on Feb. 3, 10 and 24 from 9-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. PPD skin testing is for exposure to TB. Appointments are not required to be made.

Family Planning on Feb. 18 will consist of a complete gynecological exam including pap smear, pelvic exam, and breast exam with several contraceptive methods available. Appointments are necessary; call 304-845-7840.

Pregnancy Testing Clinic on any weekday mornings at 8:30 a.m., except Feb. 18, which is Family Planning Day.

STD and HIV Testing Clinic. Free and confidential testing available on a regular basis. Call for an appointment, 304-845-7840 and ask for a nurse.

Food Handlers Training. Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. This class is for those working with foods. Registration prior to the day of the class. Call 304-845-7840 for more information.

Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics are held on Mondays, from 9-11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m., with the exception of Feb. 17. Seasonal flu shots are offered for anyone 8 months of age and older. Off-site flu clinics for businesses and organizations are available by appointment. Call 304-845-7840.

The Marshall County Department of Health monthly board meeting will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 12. The meeting will be held in the Health Department, 513 Sixth St., Moundsville. All interested individuals or delegations wishing to address the Board of Health should contact Health Department Administrator Tom Cook to be placed on the agenda.

The Marshall County Health Department will be closed on President’s Day, Feb. 17.

Marshall County Schools Facility Director Mike Price provided members of the Marshall County Board of Education with updates of several projects which are either being undertaken or hat will be in the design stage in the near future. All of the projects the result of a five-year special levy which the voters approved two years ago.

Price stated that the design for the Cameron High School Locker Room project has been approved and will go out for bid this month, with the completion date hopefully by Aug. 1. This project will consist of a second story to be erected over the current locker room.

Price said design work for an interior safety project at Washington Lands Elementary will be the next largest undertaking.

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce has added a number of new businesses to its membership. These include:

Gold, Khourey and Turak, J. & R. Excavating, Planet Fitness, and Gordmans, all of Moundsville; Kennedy Hardware, The Seeing Hand Association, both of Wheeling TRI-Seal of Triadelphia; and A&D Home Construction.

The chamber, along with city of Moundsville officials and county commissioners, participated this past Thursday in a ribbon cutting for the official opening of the new Planet Fitness.

A number of special events will be taking place this month in Marshall County:

The Ron Retzer Trio will present, “A Valentine Concert of Love Songs,” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Strand Theatre.

Moundsville’s Got Talent Auditions will take place from 4-7 p.m., on Feb. 19 at the Strand Theatre. There will be open auditions with walk-ins welcome.

The top 10 acts will compete on March 14, with three monetary donations, the top one being $300.

Children’s acting classes are to begin on Feb. 15 at the Strand Theatre. There will be two sessions, ranging from kindergarten-grade 4,which will meet from 8:45-10:15 a.m.; and the second for grades 5-8 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. There will be fees to participate in both sessions.

The Moundsville Lions Club will be holding a spaghetti dinner from 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be obtained from any club member, or purchased at the door.

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St. Jude Catholic Church will hold a fish fry until 6 p.m. on Friday. Eat in or take-out orders will be available. Call 304-845-2646 for for local delivery orders by 10 a.m. for lunch and by 3 p.m. for supper.

Wheeling Nailers Hockey First Responders Night will take place on Feb. 15 at WesBanco Arena.

The Nailers and the Marshall County commissioners invite Marshall County First Responders and their families to join the Nailers in honor of their service.

First responders and their families will receive free admission, free food service catered by Ruttenbuck’s and Generations, and a souvenir T-shirt for Marshall County First Responders only. The shirts are sponsored by the Marshall County Commission, along with recognition for their service and commitment.

The above persons are to register online at https://echlqiseo.formstack.com/forms/nailers_firstresponders

Tickets will be available on game night at WesBanco Arena. Those attend are to bring their ID and confirmation for verification.

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