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Groundbreaking Set for Gold Star Families Monument

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Marshall County Gold Star Family Monument will take place at 11 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Plaza on the northwest corner of the county courthouse.

It was some 15 months ago that Marshall County resident Delbert Chrislip was challenged by Hershel “Woody” Williams to spearhead a group of Marshall County residents to erect a monument.

Chrislip took him up on the challenge and since then some $25,000 has been raised, and because of this number, which is nearly half of what is needed, the groundbreaking date was set.

Gary Rider and Chrislip are co-chairmen of the committee, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the groundbreaking.

There will be three speakers: Marshall County Commissioner John Gruzinkskas, BeLinda Jividen, vice president of the West Virginia Gold Star mothers; and Chad Graham, president of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, who is also Williams’ grandson.

Their presentations will be followed by a pre-recorded video by Williams.

These individuals will be joined in the groundbreaking by Gold Star Family committee members Shelly Guthrie, Jule Berisford, David and Cathy Hammond, Don and Rose Shilling, along with Vicki Mitis, Scott Varner, and Mike Ferro.

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Wyatt O’Neil will assume his new duties as principal at Cameron High School on Wednesday.

The Marshall County Board of Education named O’Neil to replace the retiring Jack Cain at the MCBOE meeting on June 11. .

O’Neil has been the school’s assistant principal under Cain for the past 10 years.

O’Neil is a 2001 graduate of CHS, this was followed by his graduation from West Liberty University with a degree in Science in 2005.

He spent the next two years as assistant football coach at WLU.

He taught Science at CHS prior to becoming the CHS assistant principal.

During his 10 years as assistant principal, O’Neil has been an assistant wrestling coach.

As to sports, he played football, wrestling and baseball at CHS, and football at WLU.

O’Neil said he knew in his sophomore year at CHS that he wanted to be an educator.

He said, “I’m looking forward to this new challenge, but I’ll miss Mr. Cain who has been my mentor for the past decade.”

Ironically, while at WLU one of his teachers was the current Marshall County Superintendent of Schools, Shelby Haines, who like O’Neil graduated from Cameron High.

O’Neil is married to Leah Miller from Wheeling, they have three children ages 8, 7 and 5.

Taking O’Neil’s position as assistant principal will be Rhonda Williams who was named to the position this past Tuesday. She has previously been a Business Teacher at CHS.

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Benwood city officials and employees this past Thursday honored Mayor Ed Kuca Jr., who has held that position for the past 17 years. Overall, Kuca has served the city for 32 years, as prior to becoming mayor he had been a member of council for 15 years.

Kuca did not seek re-elected this month, and will be replaced as mayor by Walter Yates, who has served on council for 30 years.

During the event, which took place at the Tony Scaffidi Shelter, Kuca was presented with a recognition from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, and a plaque from the city.

The event was held at the shelter at Benwood City Park.

Kuca told those in attendance that he was very proud to be honored, and that he will remain a resident of Benwood.

Police Chief Frank Longwell listed some of improvements in the city during the past 32 years. Among these were replacing of the water lines in all of the wards, and the recent upgrading of the Benwood City Park.

Kuca said the improvements could not have been undertaken without the cooperation of council members.

He said that one project which he undertook was to research the mayors from 1882 to the present and during that period only 14 individuals had held the office.

Kuca said that he, along with the citizens, are very proud to have a 35 foot by 50 foot American flag on display for all to see as they pass through the area.

Kuca mentioned that when he was a student at Union High School he was president of his class for four straight years, and that I had written a story about that, and that I had added that he would probably become a politician.

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The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex reopened on June 20, West Virginia Day, and that day, which featured a musical group, drew 145 patrons throughout the day.

Also housed at the same location is the Greater Moundsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As to visitors at the GCMAC, 75 individuals are permitted in the complex at any one time.

Those entering the GCMAC will be asked to answer a questionnaire, and to follow guidelines such as being no closer than six feet from one another. It is requested that visitors wear masks.

The complex is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

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Those having business at the Marshall County Courthouse will be able to enter on July 6. There will be a limited number in any office at one time.

However, those going to the county clerk’s office for title work or abstract work will have to make arrangements in advance.

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The Marshall County Fair Board has voted to have this year’s fair from July 19-25.

Board President Beth Bertram said she expects little change in the attractions from past years.

She said fair board officers have been in contact with Marshall County Health Department officials concerning regulations from Gov. Jim Justice as they pertain to fairs.

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In addition to naming Williams as assistant principal at Cameron High, several other personnel matters were addressed by the BOE at Tuesday’s meeting.

Allison L’Eeuyer was employed as music teacher at Center McMechen Elementary/Sand Hill Elementary.

Savannah Anderson will be the new cafeteria manager at Washington Lands Elementary. She was formerly a cook at Central Elementary.

Donna Gossett was employed as part-time cook at John Marshall High School.

Resignations were accepted from Courtney Wheeling as head swim coach at John Marshall, Mia Angalich as assistant swim coach at JMHS, and Donnie Gilbert as eighth grade football coach at Moundsville Middle School.

Coaching assignments approved by the board of education were:

At Cameron High, Joe Petti, head volleyball; Jim Rogers, volunteer football and Chet Tedrow, assistant wrestling.

At John Marshall, Robert Allen, assistant cross country, Brackin Fish, assistant volleyball and Keith Knapp, assistant football.

At Moundsville Middle, Joshua Colvin, 7th grade football, Heather Merritt, assistant cheerleader and Zeke Merryman, 6th grade football.

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The annual Marshall County Farm Bureau Ice Cream Social took place this past Monday, and once again included ice cream sundaes and music by Wes Howsare.

Fifteen minutes prior to the start of the event the clouds to the south were of the black variety, but when it was time to begin the event they disappeared, to the delight of those in attendance.

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Happy Birthday to Granddaughter Lillian Barrett, who will be celebrating her 11th birthday on Thursday.

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

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