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Marshall Memo: Community, Commission Respond to Flooding in Cameron

Cameron City Council members, Marshall County Commissioners and Gov. Jim Justice wasted little time this past Tuesday in declaring a State of Emergency for Marshall County after flooding in Cameron caused considerable damage in the city.

Cameron Mayor Greg Galentine called a special meeting of city council for 11 a.m. on Tuesday to start the State of Emergency process which was then sent to the Marshall County commissioners. The process then landed in front of Justice who put his signature on the document later in the day.

The final signature directed the West Virginia Emergency Management Operations to assume their duties which included the mobilization of appropriate personnel and resources to respond.

The proclamation in part states that the efforts of the flooding had posed several continuing threats to the health, safety, welfare and property of citizens of Cameron. The proclamation also stating that appropriate personnel and resources be mobilized.

Thus the proclamation was called for the Marshall County Office of Emergency Management to oversee the cleanup and other responsibilities.

Since the MCOEM took over, other agencies have joined forces to help. Agencies that have or will be involved with cleanup are the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority, the West Virginia Conservation Agency, the regional Volunteer Disaster Agency, and the Marshall County Health Department which gave 50 tetanus shots to local residents on Wednesday and Thursday as a precaution.

Galentine said the State of Emergency can also involve FEMA, as 30 homes were damaged and streets in the city suffered damage as well.

The mayor also said that some organizations, businesses and former Cameron residents had sent money to be used to purchase food for those helping with the cleanup.

In addition to homes and businesses being damaged, Cameron Elementary School was hard hit by flooding, with the cleanup there being undertaken mostly by maintenance personnel and school staff.

Marshall County has a number of attractions that bring individuals to Moundsville, one of these being the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

For more than 25 years it has attracted persons of all ages who want to view the interior of the building which is three blocks long, Jefferson Avenue from 8th Street to 11th Street, and eastward from Jefferson Avenue to Washington Avenue.

It has been through efforts of the Moundsville Economic Development Council to enable this attraction to take place, as the MEDC leases the structure from the West Virginia Department of Corrections.

If you lived in Moundsville all your life you might have known someone who worked there, or you might have gone inside the walls to see a baseball game, a boxing match, or some other attraction put on by the inmates.

If you were a newspaper person in Moundsville you would have had reason to go inside the facility to speak with the warden or deputy warden.

If you fell under either of the two reasons above you probably thought you knew everything about the prison, but until you take a tour you probably didn’t know as much as you thought.

I for one did fall under the two, but I found out there were things I didn’t know during my tour this past week conducted was by Tom Stiles.

As to tours at the former Penitentiary, they are doing very well this year after a slow down last year because of COVID-19. The MEDC offers several different tours on a daily basis–both day and night.

Another attraction offered by the MEDC is an Escape Room where visitors are provided with clues which hopefully get them out of the room within an hour.

By the way, work is taking place for a second Escape Room which will be quite different from the original one.

Of course, there have been numerous books pertaining to the old prison, the most recent being written by CJ Plogger, a former tour guide.

The book titled, “Discipline at the West Virginia Penitentiary,” was dedicated to Rick Lohr who was a Chief Correctional Officer at the WVP and later an Associate Warden of Security at the Northern Correctional Facility.

In addition to being employed by these two institutions he was also a member of the West Virginia National Guard.

Plogger’s book is titled, “Vic Butler’s Story.”

The latest registered numbers of attendees to the Moundsville High School Alumni Homecoming Reunion to be held Sept. 3-5 was 150 as of Wednesday.

However, the number for the Sports Luncheon is lagging with only 19 signed up.

I’m sure there are plenty of former athletes with stories to tell, and the sports lunch is the place to tell them, but just remember don’t stretch them too far in your favor as I have a number of clippings with the correct information.

I know one thing, the speaker, Bob Hummell, has been looking forward to this event for more than a year. The reunion event was originally scheduled for 2020, but was postponed because of COVID-19.

Anyway, if you haven’t signed up for either you have until July 31 to do so.

Where will the reunion take place? Well it will be at the old Penitentiary.

I have another Major League game to report on, this one having taken place at PNC Park at which the Pirates defeated Cleveland 6-3 as the result of two three-run homers.

It was good to check out PNC Park after a year’s absence. The Pirates drew a nice crowd although it won’t be until July 1 until they will be able to increase the number of fans to capacity.

The Pirates did have a give-a-way, that being umbrellas although it didn’t rain despite being forecast. Manny Sanguillen’s concession stand was up and running, as were the Pirate Periogies race.

Didn’t see vendors in the stands, and thus anyone wishing to purchase food had to go to a concession stand. I did notice that a good number of customers did return their empty wrappers and paper products to the garbage cans.

While on the subject of baseball, the Moundsville American Legion Post No. 3 team will open its season at 6 p.m. Monday at home against Brilliant. This and other home games will take place at Field No. 7 at Valley Fork Park.

Post No. 3 will visit Wellsburg on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The Moundsville team will be in action Thursday through Sunday in the Beast of the East games. Three Valley Fork Park fields will be used there.

The remainder of Post 3 schedule is:

July 6–Doubleheader at Parkersburg; July 7 at Marietta; July 8 at Brillant; July 9 doubleheader at home against St. Clairsville; July 10-11 at Elkins with games against South Charleston and Elkins on July 10, and Elkins and Garrett, Md., on July 11.

July 12 at Bridgeport; July 13 at St. Clairsville; July 14 at Wheeling.

Post No. 4 will close out its final home games, with games against Wellsburg on July 15, Wheeling on July 16, and doubleheaders against Parkersburg, July 17, and Marietta on July 18.

The area tournament will take place on July 20-25.

Happy Birthday to granddaughter Lillian Barrett who will be 12 on Friday, July 2.

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