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Health Department Administrator Tom Cook Honored

Several members of the Marshall County Health Department staff this past week acknowledged one of their co-workers who plays a dual role in the community by posting a recognition on Facebook.

That individual is Tom Cook, the MCHD’s administrator, who has also been involved in Boy Scouting for many years, along with the medical field.

Cook, a native of Glen Dale, assumed his position with the health department less than a year ago, and during this period, the COVID-19 epidemic has been encountered.

Cook had worked in the medical profession for more than 30 years prior to his employment with the MCHS. His previous duties were as an emergency medical technician/paramedic, registered respiratory therapist and registered nurse.

He holds a master’s degree in safety management from West Virginia University.

He came to the Marshall County Health Department from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian, where he served as the manager of clinical services.

In obtaining information about Cook, his co-workers learned that he had earned his Cub Scout Arrow of Light in 1973, his God and Country award in 1978 and his Eagle Scout award in 1979.

As a youth, Cook was very active in the Order of the Arrow as lodge chief and secretary/treasurer.

He is the current scoutmaster of Troop No. 82 in Glen Dale, and the Mountaineer District advancement chairman.

Cook co-chaired the Mountaineer District Emergency Services Camperall in 2014 and 2015, and joined the Eagle Patrol at a 2014-21st Century Woodbadge Course.

His involvement as an adult scout has earned him the Scouter’s Training Award, James E. West Society Fellowship Award, and the Mountaineer District Award of Merit.

Cook is the newly appointed Ohio River Valley Council training chairman, and has served as training staff for Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training program within the local council.

He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association and serves on the committee of the Ohio River Valley Council’s NESA committee.

When not working or scouting, he’s very busy as well, having organized the Junior Fire Department at the Glen Dale VFD. He has helped secure grants for the Fire Safety Trail, and teaches fire wafety to the youth through the Marshall County Firefighters Association. Cook is a member of the WVU Alumni Association, the NRA and also a board member of UPMC Management committee, Hospital Safety and Hospital Infection Control Committee.

As you might have guessed, Cook received numerous comments from his friends and relatives after the Facebook post.

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Had the opportunity to sit down with five Marshall County Health Department employees to discuss their duties relating to (COVID-19).

They stated that the department receives numerous telephone calls on a daily basis from individuals pertaining to questions dealing mainly on what they should not do on matters related to the virus.

Administrator Tom Cook was high in praise of his staff who as a result of the virus have done much cross training.

He said, “Our job has been made easier thanks to workings with other agencies in the county who have the same goal which is safety. In addition our staff monitors state reports on an hourly basis throughout the day, relaying information to other agencies and to the citizens, should they need to know.”

Cook added, “Our staff commends the citizens of the county for their understanding and cooperation during this crisis.”

“One of our most recent duties took place this past week was prior to outdoor eateries opening, staff members met with owners at different sites to make sure they had complied with the guidelines,” Cook stated.

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Kasey Conner is this year’s Marshall County Literacy Council Teacher of the Year, winning an award which is named for former teacher Rita Takach.

Conner, who is a reading and English teacher at Cameron Middle School, has promoted literacy through many activities. She started the Cameron High School Middle School Book Club and had a children’s author talk with students about the writing process. Her 8th grade students have corresponded with World War II veterans. Conner incorporates readers’ theater pieces into lessons and has received a “Best Actor” award.

She enjoys using Scrabble, Scribblish and Apple-to-Apple for vocabulary enrichment.

Conner creates a positive team environment that helps her fellow co-workers enhance student learning and engagement. One of her co-workers said, “As the middle school department head, Kasey has worked to develop more collaboration across all disciplines to create a better learning environment for everyone.”

CHS principal Jack Cain said, “As a result of Kasey’s efforts, middle school test scores have been steadily rising.”

Conner is known for her friendly personality who works willingly with others to make the school and community successful. Due to current social distancing recommendations, the MCLC will honor Conner at a banquet in the fall.

She will complete an application for the West Virginia Reading Association’s Eddie C. Kennedy Award. This winner of this award will be announced in November.

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Marshall County residents who have been cleaning out their garages and basements during the past few weeks will have an opportunity to rid themselves of these items on Saturday.

The annual E-Recycle will be taking place from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., on May 16 in the North Parking Lot at John Marshall High School.

Items accepted will be car and light truck tires (17 inches and smaller), white goods, electronics, computers, air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers. No televisions will be accepted.

For more information, contact the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority at 304-780-9866, or via email to HowardCof@comcast.net

This service, co-sponsored by the MCSWA and the Marshall County Commission, is provided for residential use and is not intended for businesses or industry.

Those bringing items should be prepared to show proof of Marshall County residency.

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There also will be dumpsters available this Friday and Saturday in conjunction with the Marshall County Spring Clean-up 2020.

The dumpsters will be at the Benwood City Garage and in McMechen at the former football field. The hours at both sites will be 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., on both days. There will be no provisions to accept tires, white goods, scrap metal, car parts, televisions, fuels, hazardous chemicals/materials, or household trash.

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The Marshall County Board of Health will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting will be conducted via teleconference. The agenda is publicized on the board’s Facebook page.

Those wanting to log into the teleconference to listen or speak can call into the teleconference at 503-300-6829 and use the conference code, which is 267942.

Anyone requesting to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting must call 304-845-7840, extension 109 and place a request to speak no later than 30 minutes prior to the meeting.

One of main issues on the agenda will be an update pertaining to COVID-19.

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John S. Marshall, president of West Virginia University’s BMAC, passed along this past week information which pertained to the WVU Coaches Caravan, which had originally been scheduled for May 11.

Instead, the event will be taking place next week, but will be different in that there will be two virtual online caravans.

Plans are still being finalized and once they are completed Marshall will be notified, and he in turn will pass along the time and days.

There will be no charge for the event.

As to the BMAC raffle for two football seats, the drawing will take place on May 11.

Marshall said the BMAC is hopeful that the 25th annual Golf Classic sponsored by BMAC will be able to take place on July 23, the scheduled date, with modifications that may be needed because of COVID-19.

The Moundsville Country Club is the scheduled location for the golf event.

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Cameron American Legion Post No. 18’s “Field of Flags”will consist of 892 flags, which is 219 more than last year.

This is the fourth year for the display of flags on the grounds located to the east of the old Depot building in Cameron.

Jim and Christy Rogers have spearheaded this undertaking since its inception.

The flags are to be displayed from May 20 until June 1.

The Legion is hoping to have a very brief program on Memorial Day, with disc jockey Dave Kinney providing patriotic music for an hour beginning at 10 a.m., on May 25 as visitors move through the flags.

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There will not be a Memorial Day Parade/Service in McMechen on May 25.

American Legion Post No. 5, which has been conducting these events for a long period of time, has decided to cancel these events due to Coronavirus. Members of Post No. 5 will be flagging Veterans graves at McMechen Cemetery beginning at 5:30 p.m. on May 22. Any volunteers wishing to assist are welcome.

Jim Cochran can be reached by e-mail at bugs52@comcast.net.

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