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Ritchie County

Ritchie County

30 Counties Included in Severe Thunderstorm Watch

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center issued a severe thunderstorm watch at 12:40 p.m., an upgrade on a hazardous weather outlook issued Monday.

The counties of BARBOUR, BROOKE ,  CABELL, CALHOUN, DODDRIDGE, GILMER, HANCOCK, HARRISON, JACKSON, KANAWHA, LEWIS, LINCOLN, MARION, MARSHALL, MASON, MONONGALIA, OHIO,  PLEASANTS, PRESTON, PUTNAM, RITCHIE, ROANE,  TAYLOR, TUCKER, TYLERUPSHUR, WAYNE, WETZEL, WIRT,  and WOOD are all included in the watch.

“We’ve got a strong cold front baring down over the area,” Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Bob Larson said. “The front has triggered storms that’ll be moving through. Any thunderstorm is likely to bring very heavy rainfall at the risk of flash flooding. There’s also the potential for damaging wind gusts as the storms move through.”

“They are fast moving, so we’re not expecting storms to linger through the night. After early evening storms, just a couple of leftover showers.”

Further south, the watch includes the counties of Barbour, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie, and Upshur. In total, 30 West Virginia counties are listed under the watch, which expires at 9:00 p.m Tuesday night.

“It is a large watch area that extends 30 counties,” Larson said. “It also extends from here north through all of Western Pennsylvania. And north of there it becomes a tornado watch across western New York state. ”

“So, widespread area of severe weather today as this strong cold front moves through. The front dropping down from Ontario. It’ll be moving across New York state, Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and, of course, here through West Virginia.”

Larson said the rain will be heavy and the winds could be damaging, but said widespread flooding isn’t expected.

“There’s going to be heavy downpours, and there’s often the risk of flash flooding when this occurs,” he said. “The one saving grace is that the storms will be fast moving. It’s not the type of situation where storms stall and linger over a given community for hours on end. That’s when we have the real high risk of flooding. That’s not the case with these storms.”

Additionally, Larson said the speed with which the storms are likely to move will help avoid the risk of widespread flooding — but said the risk of flash flooding does exist.

“Quick downpours, certainly flooding in poor drainage areas, certainly the risk of flash flooding, but I don’t think we have rain lasting long enough for there to be widespread flooding,” he said.

It remains unclear exactly how strong wind speeds are projected.

Welcome Back to School and College - Students, Teacher, and Staff - 2017-2018

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Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Activities Planned at West Virginia State Parks

The Free Press WV

Night skies above West Virginia’s state parks will offer excellent views of the Perseid meteor showers this week, through Saturday, August 12. Special night viewing events of this annual spectacle are scheduled at Beech Fork, Blackwater Falls, Babcock and North Bend state parks. Activities are free and open to the public.

 

The Perseid meteor shower happens every August when the Earth’s orbit crosses the path of debris left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed close to Earth in 1992. The meteors are named after the Perseus constellation, the point in the night sky from which they appear to come from. Perseid meteors can be seen just after dark, but the number of meteors per hour increases after midnight. Lawn chairs and blankets are recommended.

 

Beech Fork State Park near Barboursville will celebrate nature’s light show with a meteor watching party on August 12. The event will start at 11 p.m. in the recreation area by the parking lot. Amateur astronomer Bob Hogsett will share his knowledge of the night sky. Early arrivers may enjoy tall tales as told by storyteller Bil Lepp at 7 p.m. For more information about Beech Fork State Park, visit www.wvstateparks.com or call 304.528.5794.

 

Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis is far from city lights and offers one of the darkest skies in the eastern United States. Starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 10, park naturalist Paulita Cousin will meet visitors at the nature center to assist novice watchers before the light show begins. Blackwater Falls State Park will also host the 28th Annual Astronomy Weekend September 14-17. This event is sponsored by the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society and Blackwater Falls State Park. For more information about Blackwater Falls State Park, visit www.blackwaterfalls.com or call 304.259.5216.

 

Babcock State Park near Clifftop will host a Perseid party at Boley Lake on Friday, August 11 starting at 8:30 p.m. Summer park naturalist Abby Rice will provide guidance during the sky watching event. For more information about Babcock State park and other weekend events, visit www.babcocksp.com or call 304.438.3004.

 

North Bend State Park near Cairo will feature presentations of the STARLAB Portable Planetarium on Thursday, August 10, and Friday, August 11. This program comes from the NASA IV and V Facility in Fairmont, and showcases stars, constellations and constellation mythology. On Thursday, shows will take place on the half-hour from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The Friday event is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The program is on a first come, first served basis in the Douglass Conference Room in the lodge. Naturalist Ken Zebo will help visitors as they enjoy the night sky view. For more information about North Bend State Park, visit www.northbendsp.com or call 304.643.2931.

Public School Start/End Dates for 2017-18 Across the Area

The Free Press WV

Barbour County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Tuesday, August 15

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 23


Braxton County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 10

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 16


Calhoun County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Clay County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Wednesday, May 30


Doddridge County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Gilmer County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Harrison County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Tuesday, August 15

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 24


Lewis County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Tuesday, May 22


Nicholas County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 21

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Pleasants County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 31


Ritchie County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, May 31


Roane County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Wednesday, August 16

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Tyler County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Webster County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 14

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, May 25


Wetzel County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Monday, August 21

Last Day of School for Students: Thursday, June 07


Wirt County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Thursday, August 17

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01


Wood County Schools

First Day of School for Students: Wednesday, August 16

Last Day of School for Students: Friday, June 01

NWS Puts Most of State Under Flash Flood Watch Through Friday Evening

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a Flash Flood Watch for its entire coverage area in West Virginia through Friday at 8 p.m.

“Rounds of showers and thunderstorms with very heavy rain are expected through Friday,” the NWS message said. “This rainfall, coupled with rain that has already fallen, could produce flash flooding, especially along small streams, creeks, low spots and poor drainage areas.”

Counties under the watch include: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson WV, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mingo, Fayette, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph, Webster, Pleasants, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane,Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.

The National Weather Service Office in Pittsburgh issued a similar Flash Flood Watch for the Northern Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle and north central counties from 6 a.m. Friday through 1 a.m. Saturday.

Sunday Storms Could Cause Flash Flooding

The Free Press WV

More than two dozen counties in West Virginia are under a Flash Flood Watch through Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.

Additional rounds of thunderstorms containing very heavy rain could cause flooding along small streams and poor drainage areas, meteorologists said.

The counties under the watch include: Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, Upshur Barbour, Fayette, Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas, and Randolph.

Controlled Deer Hunt Applications Available for Four West Virginia State Parks

Applications for controlled deer hunts in 2017 are being accepted at four West Virginia State Parks.

Those parks are Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park in Wood County, Pipestem Resort State Park in Summers County, Cacapon Resort State Park in Morgan County and North Bend State Park in Ritchie County.

For the first time, multiple-day hunts are scheduled at Cacapon and North Bend State Parks.

The deadline to apply is August 13, 2017. All West Virginia hunting regulations will apply.

Applications must be submitted at www.wvhunt.com.

Applicants with a DNR ID number must log in using their existing account.

The Free Press WV


New customers need to create an account on the Electronic Licensing and Game Checking System.

“Controlled hunts have been successful in deer management in previous years,” said Sam Cowell, hunt coordinator for the West Virginia State Parks system.

“It is an effective and efficient means of maintaining a biologically and socially balanced deer herd at our parks experiencing overpopulation.”

Dates for the 2017 controlled hunts at state parks are as follows:

Park

Hunting Date

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park

September 25 and October 23

Pipestem Resort State Park

October 09-10

Cacapon Resort State Park

November 03-04

North Bend State Park

November 06-08 and November 13-15


Controlled Hunt Application Process

Applications must be submitted at www.wvhunt.com.

Once logged in, applicants must select “Enter Lottery” and then choose only one of the hunting options listed for the park where the applicant is applying to hunt.

Multiple entries for the same park hunt may disqualify you.

Applications must be completed by midnight Sunday, August 13, 2017.

Hunters will be selected at random. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of August.


Controlled Hunts Benefits

Controlled hunts help manage deer populations. Over-browsing by deer leads to loss of native vegetation, prevents forest regeneration and alters habitats for all wildlife species living in the park.

The primary goal of controlled hunts is to reduce deer numbers to levels that prevent habitat loss, property damage, vehicle collisions and potential human injuries.

Hunting contributes to wildlife conservation while maintaining a healthy deer herd population.

State park contacts are: Nathan Hanshaw, Pipestem Resort State Park 304.466.1800); Miles Evenson, Blennerhassett Island State Park (304.420.4800); Scott Fortney, Cacapon Resort State Park (304.258.1022); and Steve Jones, North Bend State Park (304.643.2931).

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hunting regulations will apply to all managed hunts.

To learn more, visit www.wvhunt.com.

Scholarships Available Through Women’s Opportunity Fund

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for the Women’s Opportunity Fund – Linda H. Culp Memorial Scholarship.  The Women’s Opportunity Fund provides educational resources to non-traditional female students who are working to complete their education or to pursue additional schooling toward higher level career goals, professional certification, or other degrees.  As a memorial to Linda H. Culp, this fund honors a pioneering and hardworking local leader who mentored and supported other women in accomplishing their hopes and dreams.

To be eligible for financial assistance, an applicant must meet all the following requirements:

·      Applicant must be a female, adult learner who is not a recent high school graduate.

·      Applicant must reside in one of the following counties:  Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, or Wood counties in West Virginia and Athens, Meigs, or Washington counties in Ohio.

·      Applicant must be pursuing a form of post-secondary education, including bachelor’s degrees, advanced degrees, certificate programs, or vocational/technical studies in any chosen field.

Recipients are selected by an independent scholarship advisory committee.  The scholarship can be applied toward tuition, books or other education related costs.  To apply, visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/Scholarships/Apply.  The application deadline is July 26th.  For additional information, please contact the PACF’s Regional Scholarships Officer, Rachel Brezler, at 304.428.4438.

The Free Press WV

About Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates:

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or nonprofit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our community.  PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 350 charitable funds with nearly $40 million in assets.  PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area.  Since 1963, PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.  For more information about PACF, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304.428.4438.

Central WV Community Action, Inc. Works to Get People Back On Their Feet

The Free Press WV

Central West Virginia Community Action, Inc. has just under 100 staff members with 8 locations serving Lewis, Harrison, Gilmer and Ritchie Counties.

Shannon Cunningham-Snead, the executive director, said the agency plays a critical role in the community through its anti-poverty mission.

“The agency is specifically charged to work in collaboration with existing efforts of government services and other non-profits and to avoid the duplication of services,” she said. “The agency conducts a community needs assessment every three years and uses that information to design or re-design its work, especially to fill the gaps where needs are not currently being met.”

The agency’s largest program is Head Start which helps more than 360 low-income families and other at-risk 3 to 5-year-olds in the four country region, Cunningham-Snead said.

“Children participate in pre-school and follow a curriculum designed to prepare them for a successful transition to kindergarten,” she said. “They receive free transportation, meals and other support services, and all children receive medical and dental exams.”

Children with special needs are also provided access to addition services, Cunningham-Snead said. The program is operated in strong partnership with each county’s Board of Education.

“Head Start is unique in that it focuses on the well-being of the child’s whole family, and family coordinators work with the parents and caregivers to ensure that they have access to adequate housing, food, employment opportunities and more,” she said.

Many know the agency for the Family Services program it offers in Lewis County, Cunningham-Snead said. Services are designed to meet unique needs of families in effort to obtain financial self-sufficiency.

“Case managers work with low-income customers on creating a household budget, accessing available resources such as SNAP benefits, housing vouchers, job training opportunities and providing direct assistance to support individuals obtain or maintain employment,” she said.

The agency can also provide job-specific clothing, testing fees, license renewals and more in order for individuals to be successful with employment, Cunningham-Snead said. Through an AmeriCorps program, they also offer free tax preparation services for low-income individuals.

“The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is specifically geared to ensure that qualifying individuals receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit,” she said. “Additionally, opportunities to create a household budget and open a savings account are provided as well.”

Central WV Community Action, Inc. recently received a grant for the No Heat Emergency Program. The initiative provides free repair or replacement of heating systems for qualifying households, Cunningham-Snead said.

“To qualify, individuals should own their own home, and their heat source must not be in working condition or not considered a safe method of heating the home,” she said. “The agency provides assistance, as it is available, for those struggling to keep up with utility bills.”

Vonda Berry, the program director, said the Family Services offered are vital for the communities in Lewis County. They are able to assist those who are employable.

“If for some reason someone has lost their job or have been on a leave, they can see a Family Services specialist,” she said. “They will assist in setting goals, create a budget together and appoint them to other available resources if they need it.”

Berry said they like to call what they do a “hand up” instead of a hand-out because they are teaching people how to become self-sufficient and independent.

“It can be hard for those who don’t have a support system and encouragement to get the help they need,” she said. “When someone’s living paycheck to paycheck, it only takes one crisis to set them back.”

The agency works closely with the Department of Health and Human Resources as well as the Family Resource Network, Berry said. They are stronger by pulling everyone together because not one agency can do it all and have all the answers.

“It’s good to have a place to go where someone knows what’s available in the community and can help you set goals, short and long-term,” she said. “I think that’s what hurts people, they get so overwhelmed by a crisis they can’t see what’s next.”

The agency works with the individual to see a vision and then help them get there step-by-step, Berry said.

Individuals seeking assistance can contact the agency’s main number at 304.622.8495 to find the service location nearest to their community. The agency’s Family Services programs are operated at 468 Main Avenue in Weston, and 108 South 3rd Street in Clarksburg.

~~  Victoria L. Cann ~~

DIY Network Show ‘Barnwood Builders’ Visits Ritchie County

On last Sunday’s episode of “Barnwood Builders,” Mark Bowe and his team of old-school craftsmen saved a 150-year-old log cabin on top of a mountain in Ritchie County.

While they were in town, they visited Berdine’s, America’s oldest five and dime store. They also learned to make marbles by hand with Ellenboro glass artist Sam Hogue.

In nearby Cairo, Ritchie County, the Barnwood Builders met Martha and Dick Hartley, a local couple who built a log house homestead by hand.

The episode aired Sunday night on the DIY Network.

For those who missed the Harrisville episode it will air again this Sunday, July 16 at 10 p.m, on DIY.

And it will air again on Tuesday, July 18 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 at 11 p.m.

Filming for the episode in Ritchie County took place in January.

The Free Press WV


Now in its fifth season, “Barnwood Builders” is one of the most successful shows on the DIY Network, said Sean McCourt, executive producer. Silent Crow Arts, based in New York City, is the production company.

McCourt describes the one-hour show as: “Six good natured West Virginians travel the heartland saving pioneer log cabins and building gorgeous modern homes with reclaimed lumber. The show’s star, Mark Bowe, lives by the motto, ‘work hard, be kind, take pride.’”

Bowe lives in Lewisburg. Bowe wanted the show to present a positive message about West Virginia, McCourt said.

McCourt said he has found that West Virginians take great pride in the homespun series that celebrates old fashioned values and West Virginia pride.

There is a new episode of “Barnwood Builders” every Sunday at 9 p.m. on DIY. Episodes then re-air several times, McCourt said.

McCourt said the Barnwood Builders do great work, transforming old barns and cabins into nice homes.

There are 13 “Barnwood Builders” shows each season, with seven taking place in West Virginia, McCourt said.

Seasons six and seven of the show have been scheduled, McCourt said.

Grants Available From Community Foundation

The Free Press WV

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) is currently accepting grant applications for the fall cycle of its Community Action Grants Program. 

The Foundation’s application process is online and the deadline to submit is midnight on September 15. 

To access the online application, visit the Foundation’s website:  www.pacfwv.com/Grants/Apply.

To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution. 

Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).

Priority counties for Foundation grant support are:

  • Calhoun
  • Doddridge
  • Gilmer
  • Ritchie
  • Roane
  • Wirt
  • Wood

The Foundation provides support for capital and equipment projects, program development, technical assistance, training, capacity building, and, under special circumstances, operating support. 

Submitted applications are considered for support from charitable funds managed by the PACF that are designed to support a wide variety of projects and causes throughout the region. 

Applications from Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt counties are also reviewed by the Foundation’s Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation regional affiliate advisory board.

“In an effort to make a larger and more immediate impact on regional needs, the Foundation has made important changes to its Community Action Grants Program,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Senior Program Officer.  “As a result, the maximum grant request size has been increased to $15,000.  Additionally, the proposed projects must be completed within a 12-month timeframe.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s Community Action Grants Program, visit www.pacfwv.com/Grants or contact Marian Clowes at 304.428.4438 or .

 

About the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our community.  PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 340 charitable funds with nearly $34 million in assets.  PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area.  Since 1963, PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.  For more information about PACF, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304.428.4438.

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