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Epidemic, School Improvement Projects Are Discussed

While COVID-19 is the most prominent issue at the present time connected to the operation of public schools, there are also other issues which were discussed at the quarterly meeting of the Marshall County Schools Pride and Progress held this past Thursday morning.

Due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 the meeting was conducted virtually.

For those not familiar with the P&P, it involves Superintendent of Schools Dr. Shelby Haines, some members of the county office, and a number of community leaders.

In addition to an update on COVID-19, other issues discussed involved virtual school/remote learning, the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP) and a construction update.

Dr. Haines stated that because the county school system was in the state’s “red” category, no students are in the classrooms at this time, and thus there is much monitoring taking place to ensure that every student will have all their assignments on time.

Haines elaborated that, “Because of this, it is a very tireless undertaking for teachers and staff members, as they must make sure the students have proper assignments. Because some parents work during the daytime, school personnel must know how to contact grandparents, or others persons who are responsible for caring for students.”

The superintendent said, “Everything we do is a team effort.”

Haines stated, “We are fortunate to have outstanding individuals in our system and they know that the students need to be in the classroom.”

Haines expressed thanks to Marshall County Health Department Administrator Tom Cook for keeping the county office informed about updates.

The CEFP deals with preparing plans for a 10-year period, with the plan to be sent to the state board of education by Jan. 29.

There will be a local public hearing prior to submission to the state board.

Work at Monarch Stadium is 99% complete according to Mike Price, Marshall County Schools facilities director.

He noted that the track and field participants are looking forward to the new facility, which consists of an 8-lane track.

As to the Fieldhouse at Cameron High/Middle School, Price stated that it is 80% completed. The work involved adding a second story on the concession/locker rooms. The first floor will provide larger rooms, while the second floor will include space to be used for archery and other types of sports activities.

Some of the other school projects which are either being undertaken or will be soon, are those at Washington Lands Elementary, Cameron Elementary, Center McMechen, Sand Hill Elementary, Central Elementary, and Moundsville Middle School.

Price also informed the P&P members that planning for a natatorium north of John Marshall High School is continuing. He stated that the swimming pool will be 50 meters in length, and have eight lanes for competitive events.

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Although the Moundsville Lions Club hasn’t held weekly meetings in the past few weeks because of Marshall County being in the state Department of Health and Human Resources “red” category, it didn’t stop 11 members from spending an hour each to help the Moundsville Salvation Army collect money at its Christmas Red Kettles.

This effort is something that has been going on for many years, and this year especially the Salvation Army is in need of assistance in an effort to make Christmas better for those in need.

Before going further, this is a good time to inform you that through the generosity of those coming and going at Wal-Mart in Moundsville, the kettles brought in $586, a figure that member Gary Rider, who along with club president and member of the Salvation Army Board and Gene Saunders, stated this figure was the largest the club had ever taken in at one time.

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A long-time Moundsville resident, Della Deskins, recently received an Award of Excellence for promoting services of Auxiliary No. 437, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Deskins, a lifetime member and treasurer of the VFW Auxiliary, is as well as chairperson for membership, historian and event coordinator. She has also held offices of trustee, junior vice president and flag corps.

In addition to her work on behalf of the VFW Auxiliary, Deskins has served as president of Park View Elementary School PSA, president of the Eagles Auxiliary, a Cub Scout Mother of Pack No. 78 Scout Commissioner for Marshall County, a member of the John Marshall High School Band Parents, along with several other offices in the community.

Currently she serves on the city of Moundsville Zoning Board, and the Community Beautification Program.

One of her passions is for veterans who served in foreign wars, and the veterans who have served in other capacities. She is proud of her family members who have served in the military, those being her father, sons, grandson, brother, uncles, cousins, nephews, brother-in-law along with friends and many classmates.

Deskins asks the community to remember our veterans in the local nursing homes for the holidays. Currently there are veterans and auxiliary members at Mound View Health Care.

Deskins also noted that the auxiliary is collecting personal care items for these individuals. The items needed include soaps, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, body spray, hand and foot cream or lotion, toothpaste and brushes, deodorant, chapstick, shower caps, combs and brushes, magazines, word search books, puzzles, playing cards, greeting cards, envelopes, note packs and stamps, ladies socks, gloves, hats and scarves. They could also use some small items for prizes.

The above items can be dropped off at Deskins’ home at 318 Olive Ave., Moundsville, or by contacting her at 304-810-5192.

Anyone wishing to donate cash for the auxiliary to purchase items, can make their check out to VFW Auxiliary No. 437, and mark it for Nursing Home.

The auxiliary is also collecting canceled postage stamps for rehabilitation for the Veterans Rehab Centers, and is remembering the veterans and families at Helping Heroes in Moundsville.

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Members of the Elizabethtown Festival committee this year had to make a decision on whether to put the event on hold, or come up with a new type of attraction. Their event has taken place for 21 straight years, all within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville.

Because of COVID-19, the Training Center was out of the picture — but where could they go? Someone came up with idea of selling Christmas trees, and the location of the sale was a no-brainer.

The committee agreed to have it on the front lawn of the former penitentiary.

Of course, they needed to have something more than Christmas trees, and thus they asked some local vendors if they would be interested in participating to staff a booth.

The next move would be to build booths for the vendors. No problem. Also, how about involving youngsters?

Maybe they could make decorations for the trees?

Of course, everything was going well, until COVID-19 entered the picture and school was not in session the week before the event, but the committee again came to the rescue and made items for the tops of each of the six trees, each with a school color.

The effort is going well. According to Tom Stiles, the sale of trees has been “very good.”

For youngsters wanting to send a letter to Santa, they can drop off their letter at the front entrance to the prison, and the MEDC members will pass it on to Santa.

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Moundsville’s newest hotel is up-and-running.

City representatives Mayor David Wood, Councilman Phil Remke, and City Manager Rick Healy, along with Craig White, who wears two hats, those of the Greater Moundsville CVB and general manager of Grand Vue Park; and Marshall County Chamber of Commerce general manager Scott Reager joined Holiday Inn Express & Suites representatives in cutting the ribbon.

The ribbon cutting was followed by a tour of the five-story building, which is located to the north by Kroger, to the east by the Department of Highways building and to the south by Dot Drive.

The property to the west is also owned by the hotel firm.

The tour included a 24-hour fitness center, pool and spa, an on-site guest laundry, a patio with grill and fire pit.

The locals were noted speaking to hotel personnel, and pointing out to them area attractions, namely Grand Vue Park, Grave Creek Mound Historical Site, the former West Virginia Penitentiary and the Palace of Gold.

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The Marshall County Courthouse will reopen Monday after having been closed for the past week and during this period of time the entire interior was disinfected by Panhandle Cleaning. That firm also did similar work at both the Marshall County Magistrate Building and the Marshall County Public Safety Building.

As to the courthouse, people planning to do business there need to make an appointment with the proper office.

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Due to Marshall County remaining in elevated risk status, the health department will continue with COVID-19 testing this coming week.

The hours of testing will be 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Testing is also be held today (Saturday) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Anyone wishing additional information can contact the Health Department at 304-845-7840, or visit the Health Department’s Facebook at Marshall County Health Department – WV.

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