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Beat the Heat: Arctic Soda Fountain Beverages Historic Trades Workshop

On Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16, 2015, at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, join confections and historic foodways expert Carol Anderson and the park’s living history staff to beat the summer heat by learning to make refreshing Victorian sodas.

Sodas began to appear in Harpers Ferry before the American Civil War and were aimed at the hot, dusty travelers and local citizens. Newspaper advertisements from the 1860s report: “In anticipation of warm weather, the proprietors will put in full blast their Soda Fountain, from which they are at any time, during the summer months, prepared to draw the coolest and most delicious beverage, flavored with an almost endless variety of elegant syrups to contribute to the comfort of those who may be nearly or entirely overcome with the heat.”

Workshops will be offered each day from 1-4pm. A workshop fee, which covers supply costs, is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children up to 12 years of age. Pre-registration for this event is required, as space in each class is limited to 15 participants. Visit our Historic Trades Workshops page of the website or call the Harpers Ferry Historical Association at 304-535-6881 for more information about registering for this workshop.


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Racine MultiSports, LLC to hold Fort Ritchie Duathlon & Triathlon Events on 8/2

Hagerstown, MD - Racine MultiSports, LLC will hold the 2015 Fort Ritchie Duathlon and Triathlon on Sunday, August 2, 2015, 8:00 am, at Fort Ritchie Lake in Cascade, MD.  The event consists of three races: a Duathlon, Triathlon, and an Aqua Velo. Each of the three races will be competed at Sprint and Olympic distance categories, for a total of six race events throughout the day.  Races begin and end at Fort Ritchie Lake and organizers anticipate about 500-800 athletes and spectators to attend.

The Duathlon races will consist of running, biking, and then more running, in both distance categories.  The Triathlon races will consist of swimming, biking, and running in each distance categories.  The Aqua Velo races will consist of swimming and biking in both distance categories.

There are multiple sponsors of the event, and Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a Season Sponsor of Racine MultiSports.  Local event sponsors include Hamilton Nissan, Jersey Mike’s, Innovative Inc., and Hub Labels.  Several other sponsors and Washington County based sporting events that the organization produces are listed on their website, http://www.racinemultisports.com.

Ken Racine announced the organization will donate a significant portion of the event proceeds to the Fort Ritchie Community Center.  “We are proud that Racine MultiSports exists, in part, to donate to causes that benefit the communities in which events are held.  It is our mission to provide quality competitions to athletes of all levels and to give back to the community.”

The events are open to the public and media. Course maps and other information can be found on their website: http://www.racinemultisports.com.

About Racine MultiSports, LLC:
Founded in January 2007, Racine MultiSports LLC, was established to support multi-sport endurance athletes by giving them venues to race, while supporting local charities and non-profit organizations.  RMS events cater to all levels of athletes, from the youth, adult beginners, to the experienced athlete.  RMS’s mission is to create an opportunity for youth and adult athletes to challenge themselves physically through endurance events that will inspire them to be better people.  Additionally, RMS gives back to the community by supporting charities and non-profit organizations.


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Boys and Girls Club Photography Exhibit at the Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Art Works will exhibit the best of the annual Martinsburg Boys and Girls Club photography competition in the gallery at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

This is the 46th year of the program that has been led by volunteer teacher Pat Murphy. “Most of the images in this year’s competition were captured locally and there is an especially strong selection of portraits.“ said Murphy at the judging session on July 30.

The images are judged by a group of volunteer photographers and artists. Photographer Frank Herrera of Martinsburg has been a judge for about 30 years. He said “Every year I’m elated to find the creative results achieved by the young people shooting away under the encouragement of Pat Murphy.”

The exhibit will be on display from August 12 through August 30. There will be a reception for the young artists on Friday, August 14 from 4-6pm.

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.

Photo Caption: Examples of images from the 2015 Boys and Girls Club photography exhibit at the Berkeley Art Works.


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Synergy - A Concert And Silent Auction To Benefit Those Affected By The Harpers Ferry Fires

On July 23, 2015 Harpers Ferry, WV experienced a major fire.  Several historic buildings were heavily damaged from the flames and smoke.  In an effort to help provide immediate financial support to stores, restaurants, employees and residents displaced by the fires, Front Porch Live and Longshots Billiards are hosting a benefit concert.  All proceeds will go to the Renew Harpers Ferry Fund.  The event takes place on Saturday August 8th at Longshots Billiards in Charles Town, WV. The music will start at 3 pm and play until 2 am with a total of 13 musical acts performing live.  Donations will be taken at the door without a set cover charge. 

Musical acts include; Noetic Pull, Jake and the Burtones, One Too Many Freddies, Squaring the Circle, Happy Wanderers Dixieland Band, Unfortunate Sons, Honey and Steel, Frank N Bob, Doug Beatty, Michael Bohorquez, Eddie RU Kidding, Obsidian and Shenan Sokel.  There will be a silent auction with items from local artists, residents and merchants.  More information can be found at http://www.facebook.com/frontporch.live

Front Porch Live produces live music events at music venues around the eastern panhandle, specializing in bringing in some of the most talented musicians from up and down the east coast.

Longshots Billiards is one of the premier bars and music venues in Charles Town with a large stage, lounge area and multiple professional pool tables. The venue is located at 76 Wolfcraft Way, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414

Photo: Jake and the Burtones


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South Jefferson Public Library presents the basketry Art of Anne Bowers beginning Sat., August 1st

The South Jefferson Public Library is pleased to present the basketry of Anne Bowers, beginning Saturday, August 1st, in the Library Meeting Room. This exhibit is the 61st in the Art in the Library series hosted by the library to highlight the talents of local artists.  An reception will be held on Sunday, August 2nd, from 2PM to 4PM in the Library Meeting Room, to enable the public to meet the artist.

Ms. Bowers has the following to share about her craft:  In my perspective, baskets have the ability to bridge the gap between a beautiful work of art and the functional woven vessel.  With every basket I create, my desire is to make an object that quickly becomes art-in-hand through its daily use.  The interplay of fiber, color, and shape has always intrigued me and left me with a feeling of urgency that almost demands a basket’s creation.  The personal satisfaction I have received from basketry through the past 35 years continues to evolve including a wide range of work styles.  It is my desire to get the viewer involved in this process through creating work that invites one to touch, linger and learn some of the process of the evolution of the woven art form we call basketry.

The primary focus of my work is in ribbed basketry, an area few makers devote themselves to because of its degree of difficulty. It is in this type of construction that I explore more artistic forms, although I am well versed in other kinds of basketry such as flat splint, twill, naturals, double walled and traditional basketry. I weave primarily with reed, but incorporate an amazing variety of natural materials which I dye myself or are found outdoors. Use of found objects, such as antlers, kitchen utensils and unusual sticks also play an important role in my work. Creating baskets that involve, please and sometimes amuse others is a real enjoyment to me!

This art show will run from Saturday, August 1st, 2015, through Wednesday, September 30th at the South Jefferson Public Library, located at 49 Church St., Summit Point, WV 25446. Library hours are: M-Th: 10-7; Fri: Closed; Sat: 10-5; Sun: 1-5. For additional information regarding this show, library personnel may be reached at: (304) 725-6227 or by viewing the library website at http://www.sojeffersonlibrary.com.


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Interior Dept. Releases Final Study of Shepherdstown Battlefield

In early July, The Department of Interior released the final study documents of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Special Resource Study (SRS) of the Shepherdstown Battlefield. The Battle of Shepherdstown occurred on September 19 and 20, 1862 involving approximately 8,000 to 10,000 troops and resulted in 677 casualties.

The SRS concluded that the 510 acre site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown would be preferably included within the Antietam National Battlefield Park. The SRS studied various options and possible boundary adjustments including an assessment of including the Shepherdstown site within the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.  “As such, each of these boundary adjustment options is included in the study alternatives, with Antietam National Battlefield being the preferable option due to its historical and geographical connections to the Battle of Shepherdstown.”

The 1862 Maryland Campaign of the Army of Northern Virginia included battles of South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, Antietam and ending in a battle near Shepherdstown in what is now West Virginia. The SRS concluded that: “The inclusion of the Shepherdstown battlefield into Antietam National Battlefield would provide visitors the opportunity to have an expanded understanding of the events directly following the Battle of Antietam and the culmination of the Maryland Campaign. The SRS further concludes it “would propose to adjust the existing boundary of Antietam National Battlefield to include areas of the Shepherdstown battlefield that contribute to an understanding of the significance of the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign.” 

In early 2012, the NPS held two scoping meetings seeking public comments regarding the proposed SRS. “In total, approximately 136 people attended the scoping meetings. ... Public response received by the National Park Service was predominately supportive of the study and enthusiastic concerning the interpretation and protection of the Shepherdstown battlefield.”  The preliminary SRS was released in August 2014 and a public review period was conducted for two months. During this period, 334 individuals corresponded with the NPS. Two public meetings were held in September attended by approximately 93 individuals. “Commenters expressed overwhelming support for” ... the management option that the…“Antietam National Boundary Adjustment as the most effective and efficient way to preserve the   Shepherdstown battlefield.”

“If Congress were to authorize a legislative boundary that would encompass the Shepherdstown battlefield as part of ... Antietam National Battlefield, there would be no change to existing landownership…” “Any change to land ownership or use would be in the future as the National Park Service is able to acquire battlefield land from willing sellers and donors.”

The effort to involve the Federal government in helping to save and preserve the site of the Battle of Shepherdstown has been the result of the work of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc (SBPA) and its individual members. SBPA is a non-profit corporation, organized in 2004 dedicated to saving and preserving thecore of the site of the Battle of Shepherdstown.Approximately 105 acres have been saved through conservation easements and land purchases. Also, approximately $1.1 million has been raised to save battlefield land through grants and membership contributions during the last ten years. If you would like to help save more of the battlefield and learn more about SBPA, please go to: http://www.battleofshepherdstown.org.


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Accelerate West Virginia to Support Bill Cole for Governor

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV — Accelerate West Virginia, backed by a group of conservative and business leaders committed to moving West Virginia forward, today announced its formation and support of current State Senate President Bill Cole’s bid to be elected Governor of West Virginia in next year’s election.

John Casey, President of Accelerate West Virginia, said, “Accelerate West Virginia believes that with Bill Cole’s visionary leadership West Virginia’s best days lie ahead. Bill Cole is uniquely equipped to move West Virginia forward.  For too long, our state has been at best in neutral and most often going in reverse.”

Regarding the governor’s race, Accelerate West Virginia will be focused on letting West Virginians know the accomplishments of Bill Cole as a job creator and as the conservative leader of the state legislature. Senate President Bill Cole led the fight to fix our broken legal system, help save coal jobs, and improve our laws to allow for more construction jobs on government projects.

Casey added, “We endorse Bill Cole’s vision of making West Virginia among the strongest economies in the nation.”

Likewise, Cole is committed to upgrading and reforming the state’s increasingly antiquated infrastructure and underperforming education system.
 
Casey said, “West Virginia also needs to accelerate improvements to our roads and schools. Bill Cole has a specific plan to help make life better for all West Virginians.

“Our Accelerate West Virginia movement will be leading the pack in helping Bill Cole become Governor of our great state.”

Those interested in helping accelerate our state forward are encouraged to visit our website to join the effort at http://www.acceleratewv.com and help get our economy on the right track. Accelerate West Virginia is a federally registered independent expenditure only committee based in South Charleston, West Virginia.


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The Enemy Among Us: Defending Harpers Ferry During the War of 1812

On Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9, 2015, at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, experience life as it was in the early nineteenth century as the small settlement of Harpers Ferry and the young nation faced a war with the British to defend their newfound freedom. Visit an 1812 military recruitment station at the town’s oldest structure, the 1782 tavern built by Robert Harper. During the War of 1812, America found in taverns her heart and ideas that made her grow. In 1814, the tavern owned by Margaret Wager Williamson, heir of town founder Robert Harper, was a springboard for the defense of the nation. During the British invasion in the War of 1812, this place served as a recruiting station for 60 Armory workers and local militia. They prepared to defend hearth and home from a potential loss of a hard- won independence. Discover the reactions of town citizens to the British invasion the response from the government armory workers.


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WVCALA: Legislative Study Needed on West Virginia Judicial Oversight Body

Charleston, W.Va. – A recent report from the Judicial Investigation Commission created controversy over how a complaint about Justice Robin Davis was handled, and West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) is asking state legislators to set up a legislative study of the Commission, its appointment and investigative process.

“West Virginians deserve courts that are fair and impartial, and the latest report from the Supreme Court’s Judicial Investigation Commission, which appears to be a secret court for judges, on Justice Davis raises serious questions about its oversight capability.  As a local paper observed today, the Justice’s husband’s undisclosed deal with a personal injury lawyer who had business before the Supreme Court would make ‘a reasonable person’ accept that there may be ‘an appearance of impropriety.’  Our members need to know whether the current structure and makeup of the Judicial Investigation Commission best serves the interests of all West Virginians,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA. 

The Supreme Court established the Judicial Investigation Commission to determine whether probable cause exists to formally charge a judge with a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, to govern the ethical conduct of judges or to ascertain that a judge, because of advancing years and attendant physical and mental incapacity, should not continue to serve.

Stauffer continued, “Currently, the nine members of the Commission are appointed by the Supreme Court and then tasked with investigating allegations of judicial misconduct of the Supreme Court, as well as circuit judges and other judicial officeholders in West Virginia, who in many cases may be their colleagues.”

“Our view is that the state legislature should study the Commission’s appointment process, who serves on the Commission, and how investigations are conducted. If the Supreme Court were serious about ensuring an impartial and unbiased investigative process of potential violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct they should ensure that the Commission is not in any way beholden to the Supreme Court.  Some states, for example involve their executive and legislative branches in the seating of the oversight body,” added Stauffer.

“Considering recent events,” Stauffer concluded, “when you hear questionable noises coming from your car it probably makes sensed to take a look under the hood.”

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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Harpers Ferry Foundation Creates Fire Relief Fund

The Foundation has established a relief fund for the benefit of those affected by the fire in our Historic Business District.  Contributions can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com\RenewHarpersFerry.  Because there is a commission applied to donations made through GoFundMe, contributions may also be sent directly to the Foundation at PO Box 1427, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 (please designate “Renew Harpers Ferry” on your check).


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WVCALA: Judicial Investigation Commission Member Is Major Donor to Justice Robin Davis’ Campaigns

Charleston, W.Va. – A major supporter of Justice Robin Davis’ political campaigns serves on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals’ Joint Investigation Commission, according to West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA). Today, WV CALA re-issued its request for the West Virginia Legislature to study the appointment and the investigative process of the Joint Investigation Commission, which has come under scrutiny in recent days.

“We think it’s very important for the West Virginia Legislature to study the Joint Investigation Commission, which is responsible for reviewing in a fair and impartial manner the complaints made against judicial officials across West Virginia. Today we learned that a member of the current commission has been a major political contributor and fundraiser for Justice Robin Davis. It’s time to shed light on this secret court for judges,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

According to information from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeal, Robert Fitzsimmons, a prominent Wheeling personal injury lawyer, is a current member of the Joint Investigation Commission. According to campaign finance research conducted by WV CALA, Fitzsimmons and attorneys at his law firm have contributed over $10,000 to the re-election efforts of Justice Robin Davis.

The Supreme Court established the Judicial Investigation Commission to determine whether probable cause exists to formally charge a judge with a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, to govern the ethical conduct of judges or to ascertain that a judge, because of advancing years and attendant physical and mental incapacity, should not continue to serve.

“How can West Virginians have confidence in this commission when one of its members is a close supporter and financial contributor to a judicial officer under investigation? How can they be confident that commissioners can reach an impartial decision when they have to try cases before judges they have investigated? The West Virginia Legislature should closely examine this commission to ensure it can make certain that our state’s judges meet the highest standards of judicial conduct,” concluded Stauffer.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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American Red Cross Looking for Military Veterans

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. – The American Red Cross of Northeast West Virginia is looking for a veteran of any military service who would like to work with vulnerable and at-risk service members and their families in the Kearneysville area.  “As a veteran I have personally witnessed the power of Veterans help Veterans.  The work VetCorps members are doing in West Virginia inspiring and critical” says Mike Webb, Program Manager of the Service to the Armed Forces Program for the American Red Cross West Virginia. 

The chosen veteran will be a member of the WV LifeBridge VetCorps.  WV LifeBridge VetCorps engages military veterans in national service to provide peer mentoring, employment and skills training, information and referral services and financial literacy services and supports to military veterans and other adults who are experiencing or who are risk of becoming homeless.  Vet Corps members are paid a living allowance, earn an education award, and receive health insurance and child care. All members must sign a contract committing to one year of service. 

The Kearneysville VetCorp Member will be responsible for Coordinating American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) programs at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center and 167th WV National Guard Air Wing.  A successful VetCorp candidate will be trained and receive national certification as a Veterans Service Officer. Call Mike Webb for more information at (304) 989-4278 or visit http://www.lifebridgewv.org.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. In West Virginia, visit redcrosswv.org or visit us on Twitter at @ARCWV.


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WVCALA: New Research Shows Longstanding Philosophical Alliances Among State Supreme Court Justices

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Supreme Court Justices Robin Davis, Margaret Workman, and Brent Benjamin were recently reported to be most likely to agree philosophically in recent years, and new research shows this alliance has existed for many years prior. Today West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) released a second report on high court opinions looking back to 2009. 

Data issued by the high court from Spring 2009 through Fall 2012, amplify the findings in previous research, which looked at non-unanimous decisions between Spring 2013 and Spring 2015.

“This research shows a longstanding shared point-of-view among Justices Davis, Workman and Benjamin,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA. “When there was disagreement between members of the state’s highest court, more often than not these three justices took the same side.”

WV CALA conducted the research to help inform its grassroots members and voters about how decisions by the state’s highest court are playing out.

According to data compiled by WV CALA on split decisions by the Court from this time period, Justice Davis and former Justice Thomas McHugh were most likely to join together in non-unanimous decisions. In addition to McHugh, Justice Workman and Justice Benjamin agreed with Davis sixty percent of the time.

  • Justice Davis and Justice McHugh voted together 78 percent of the time
  • Justice Davis and Justice Workman joined opinions 65 percent of the time
  • Justice Davis and Justice Benjamin agreed 60 percent of the time
  • Justice Davis and Justice Ketchum joined opinions only 34 percent of the time.

The Supreme Court terms covered during this portion of the research were from the Court’s Spring 2009 Term, when Justices Ketchum and Workman joined the Court, through the Fall 2012 Term, the last term before Justice Loughry joined the court. The research looked at all cases with non-unanimous decisions, including memoranda decisions, during the time period.

“WV CALA believes West Virginians deserve to know the judicial philosophies and alliances among members of our state’s highest court. We will continue to share information about this with our grassroots members and the public,” concluded Stauffer.
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West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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Berkeley Art Works Teachers’ Exhibit On Display

The Berkeley Arts Council presents and exhibit by Teaching Artists Jean Kellogg and Judith Becker, which will show their work in the media they will be teaching starting in September. The exhibit is in the Back Space at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The exhibit will be on display through August 23.

For those who have thought about taking an art class or trying a new painting medium but didn’t know what was involved, Here is a chance to find out about it free. Get a taste of acrylic, watercolor, and oil painting and more with free one hour mini-lessons being offered in August.

The full schedule of Fall classes and mini-lessons is available at http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/.

Photo: Judith Becker demonstrates color pencil techniques to a group of budding artists as part of the Berkeley Art Works “Mini-Lesson” series.


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Donors Sought For Charity Art & Antiques Bazaar To Benefit Local Audubon Society

Shepherdstown’s Bridge Gallery will hold a Charity Art and Antiques Bazaar to benefit the Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) from August 14 to August 23.
The Bazaar will feature donated works of art, collectibles and antiques, and all profits will go to PVAS.

PVAS is asking its members to donate items for the Bazaar, the Bridge Gallery is donating items of its own, and members of the community are invited to donate, too.  Donated items should have artistic, collectible or antique value or be unique, fun conversation pieces. Examples include paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, antiques, jewelry, fabric, embroidery, instruments, and art books. Please, no clothing, dishes, kitchenware or children’s toys or games unless these are antique or uniquely valuable.

Donated items may be dropped off at the gallery on Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12 between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. or by appointment made with Mike Sullivan of PVAS (304-876-1343). Sullivan can also answer questions about the appropriateness of donations, drop off logistics or pricing, and arrange for items to be picked up if such arrangements are needed.
The Bridge Gallery is located just to the south of Shepherdstown at 8566 Shepherdstown Pike (Route 230). Its normal hours are 11-5 Wednesday through Friday, 12-6 on Saturday, and 12-3 on Sunday. Its website is at http://www.bridgegalleryandframing.com.

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Established in 1982, it is based in Shepherdstown but draws its members from all three counties of the entire Eastern Panhandle of WV and Washington County MD. It operates three nature preserves that encompass more than 500 acres and offers a wide variety of nature-related programming for children, adults and families. Its website is atwww.potomacaudubon.org.


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WVCALA: Judicial Investigation Commission Response To Learjet Justice Lacks Facts, Substance

Charleston, W.Va. – An investigation by the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission into whether state Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis should have disclosed that her husband sold a million-dollar Learjet to a personal injury lawyer who appeared before her is imprecise and factually incorrect according to West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA).

“The Judicial Investigation Commission has rendered a throwback to West Virginia’s darker days of back-room politics where the public interest is subordinated to political agendas. The West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct states, “A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities.” Justice Davis should have disclosed her husband’s financial relationship with a Mississippi personal injury lawyer, whom she awarded $17 million in fees in a ruling called ‘tortured’ and ‘shockingly result-oriented’ by Justice Loughery,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

According to WV CALA, the Commission’s ‘statement of facts’ is heavy on statement and light on facts. The Commission’s report asserts that Justice Davis’ spouse ‘is a very successful trial lawyer,’ which is not a fact; it’s an opinion and entirely irrelevant to the complaint. The report further asserts that Davis’ husband wasn’t involved in the infamous Douglas Case – the $90 million verdict – an allegation never made in the complaint filed against Justice Davis.

The Commission’s report asserts that the Learjet sold by Davis’ husband was ‘a firm plane,’ owned by her husband’s law firm. Public records show that the Learjet transaction passed through solely owned shell companies. The sale was between Justice Davis’ husband and a Mississippi personal injury lawyer, not their respective law firms.

The Commission’s report “does not accept as proof allegations made in the mass media.” However, they do accept as proof Justice Davis’ own spokeswoman acknowledging Justice Davis knew a Mississippi personal injury lawyer had purchased her husband’s Learjet. Additionally, the Commission does not accept as proof records of incorporation that show the jet sale was between two sole owners of LLCs and not their respective law firms.

“Justice Davis knew her husband sold his Learjet to a Mississippi personal injury lawyer who had and continues to have cases before the Supreme Court of Appeals. The West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct insists that the public have judges that are above the mere appearance of impropriety yet this Commission found nothing wrong. Justice Davis’ own husband admitted on statewide radio if he was representing a client in this case he would like to have known about a million-dollar plus transaction between a judge’s family member and a lawyer in the case,” concluded Stauffer.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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WV CALA Op-Ed: Consider Arbitration to Resolve Disputes

Consider Arbitration To Resolve Disputes
By Roman Stauffer

Ask anyone who has ever been involved in a lawsuit, and they’ll tell you about the expensive and lengthy process of resolving disputes through litigation. Often times we all pay for the cost of expensive litigation through higher prices for goods and services.

America’s litigation system costs families thousands per year on average, and if the personal injury lawyers get their way it could end up costing even more. According to the Institute for Legal Reform, seven in ten small business owners say that a lawsuit would force them to reduce benefits for current employees and hold back hiring new ones.

Thankfully, there is an option to consider before filing an expensive lawsuit to resolve a dispute. If you are involved in a dispute and are considering a legal action, be a wise legal consumer and consider using arbitration or another alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation.

Arbitration is a voluntary, out-of-court method of dispute resolution where disputing parties make voluntary, out-of-court methods of dispute resolution where disputing parties make their case to a neutral, independent arbitrator, whom they have mutually selected. This process can have many advantages, including being faster, simpler and less expensive than litigation.

In many instances, personal injury lawyers prefer to quickly file a lawsuit with hopes of earning large lawsuit fees associated with a jackpot justice verdict. Unfortunately, too often we see settlements driven by lawsuit greed that may result in some personal injury lawyers getting rich and their clients left with too little.

Arbitration can be good for all parties and has many advantages over litigation. The only people arbitration isn’t good for is personal injury lawyers because it means fewer lawsuit fees.

In addition to working to ensure and protect the right to a jury trial, we should equally be focused on protecting arbitration and mediation laws and not cave to personal injury lawyer special interests who have been known to seek to prohibit these attractive dispute resolution alternatives.

Roman Stauffer is Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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Art Works To Host Open House and Exhibit Reception

The Berkeley Art Works at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg will host an open house on Saturday, July 25 from 1-4pm followed by a reception from 4-6pm for the exhibiting artists in the “Crit Group Works” Exhibit.

Featured demonstrations during the open house will include woodworker Joe Bourgeios, pottery artist Hilda Eiber, and Teaching Artist and painter Jean Kellogg. The event is free and open to the public and offers the chance to meet some of the artists whose work is displayed in the Art Works gallery.

The “Crit Group Works” exhiibit is an exhibit of fine art oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, mixed media , digital photography and ceramics by artists who comprise a critique group founded in 2007 and meets twice each month in the studio-home of Doug and Karen Kinnett near Shepherdstown, WV. The exhibiting artists from the group are Gary Bergel, Judy Bradshaw, Rebecca Grace Jones, Stan Jones, Doug Kinnett, Fran Skiles, Craig Winkel, and Joy Bridy.

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.


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AMERICAN PICKERS To Film In Maryland

Maryland is excited to welcome Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and Antique Archeology to the area. The team will film episodes of their hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout Maryland. Filming is scheduled for early August.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. This hit show follows two of the most skilled pickers in the business, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on an epic road trip across the U.S. in search of America’s most valuable antiques from motorcycles, classic cars and bicycles to one-of-a-kind vintage memorabilia. Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle America, restore forgotten relics to their former glory, and learn a thing or two about American history along the way.


AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore what you may have. They are on the hunt for interesting characters with interesting and unique items.  Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, vintage musical equipment, vintage automotive items, early firefighting equipment, vintage clothing, pre-50’s western gear.

AMERICAN PICKERS is produced by Cineflix Productions for History. New episodes air Wednesdays at 9pm ET on History.

If you have a large collection or want to refer someone to Mike and Frank, email: your name, number, address and description of the collection and photos to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 855-old-rust.


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WVCALA: New Study Details Philosophical Alliance Among State Supreme Court Justices

Charleston, W.Va. – To help inform West Virginians about philosophical alliances among justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) today released data outlining the ruling trends based on non-unanimous opinions issued by the state’s highest court.

“We are excited to release the first part of our research on this topic. It is vital for West Virginians to understand the judicial temperament of the justices on the high court, and this data will help them do so,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

According to data compiled by WV CALA on split decisions in the state Supreme Court of Appeal of West Virginia in recent years, Justice Robin Davis and Justice Margaret Workman were most likely to join together in non-unanimous decisions. The study found that:

  • Justice Davis and Justice Workman voted together 68 percent of the time
  • Justice Robin Davis and Justice Brent Benjamin joined opinions 58 percent of the time
  • Justice Robin Davis and Justice Menis Ketchum agreed 46 percent of the time
  • Justice Robin Davis and Justice Allen Loughry joined opinions only 38 percent of the time.

The Supreme Court terms covered during this portion of the research were from the Court’s Spring 2013 Term, when Justice Allen Loughry joined the Court, through the Spring 2015 Term, the most recent high court session. The data reviewed includes all cases with non-unanimous decisions, including memoranda decisions, during the time period.

“This information represents the first portion of our research on the ruling tendencies of the Court. We’re in the process of peeling back other layers, such as looking back through the Spring Term of 2009, when Justices Ketchum and Workman joined the Court. This extended look at decisions will give us much broader and historical picture. West Virginians deserve to know this information,” said Stauffer.

“We have seen several opinions from our Supreme Court in recent years that have raised concern. In one recent opinion, for example, the Court permitted drug abusers to sue pharmacies based on claims that pharmacies had responsibility for the drug abusers’ problems. Decisions such as these take our state backwards after our legislature took action to fight lawsuit abuse in the last legislative session. WV CALA will continue to educate West Virginians to help them decide if the judicial philosophy of those on the court reflects their own views,” concluded Stauffer.


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Social Photo Contest: Are You #HappyInHagerstown?

Hagerstown, MD - If you’re happy in Hagerstown, we want you to show us! Beginning on July 13, we want you to pull out your smartphones and starting showing us why you’re #HappyInHagerstown. We don’t care where you are. As long as the picture you share is a picture taken at some point while you were in Hagerstown, you can share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the contest hashtag #HappyInHagerstown for a chance to win!

What You Could Win
The top winner of the contest will receive a CASH PRIZE of $500! The second-prize winner will receive $250, and third place will win $100.

How It Works
From June 13 to August 7, we invite you to submit photos to the contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #HappyInHagerstown hashtag. Facebook photos can be shared directly on our Facebook page. Twitter and Instagram submissions will automatically be entered into the contest when using the hashtag, but likes and shares of your photos on Facebook will help your chances of winning. Be sure to follow the Hagerstown Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see some of our favorite submissions during the contest entry dates.

The CVB Selection Committee will share the top three contest winners on August 10. Quality of photo, social media engagement (number of likes, shares, etc.) and other factors will be taken into consideration to select winners. Be sure to like us on Facebook to know if your photo has been chosen as a winner!

Other Things to Know
There is no limit to the number of photos you can enter into the contest, so share away! Photos should be posted to our Facebook page, even if the photo is entered on Twitter or Instagram, so be sure to like us and post it there, too. Enhanced images are OK—we embrace the filter! We just require that by submitting an image, you agree you are the actual photographer. We have to give credit where credit is due. If you enter a photo into the contest, we reserve the right to use it later in print, on our website, and social outlets in order to promote what makes Hagerstown such a great place to live and visit. And don’t forget: the photo has to include the #HappyInHagerstown hashtag! (Capitalization doesn’t matter.)

Frames as seen on social media can added to photos, by request.  Send jpg photos to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) via email, and frame will be added, then sent back as a jpeg file.

Dates to Remember
July 13: Official contest begins
August 7: Final day to submit photos
August 10: Finalists chosen and the official winner announced


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Asbury UMC Late Summer Calendar

Asbury UMC Forming New Daisy Troop
We are looking for kindergarten & 1st grade girls interested in being part of the new Asbury Girl Scout Daisy troop!  Girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Make new friends, make crafts, and learn how to make this world a better place to live in.  If you are interested in your daughter being a part of the Asbury Daisy Girl Scouts or are interested in being an adult volunteer, please contact troop leader Katrina Hosking at 304-725-6260 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  We look forward to seeing your little Daisy blossom!  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC To Hold Rally Sunday Service
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our community to join us on August 30th as we celebrate ‘Rally Sunday’ with a special Unity Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.  This service will highlight our Sunday School Department, Asbury’s Educational Programs and enjoy special music from the Shepherds Choir, Bell Choir, Praise Band & more.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.

Asbury Hosting 2nd Annual Car Care Clinic For Single Moms, Widows & Seniors
Asbury United Methodist Men (UMM) will host their annual free car care clinic on August 22nd from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the rear parking lot.  The event is intended for single moms, widows and senior citizens, and membership in the church is not required. Services will include checking fluid levels, topping off oil and other fluids, inspecting tires, checking windshield wiper blades and visually giving the vehicle a ‘once over’.  The Asbury UMM wants to support and bless the single moms and seniors of our community in any way we can.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV.  Please call 304-725-5513or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.


Asbury UMC Celebrates World Communion Sunday – October 4th, 2015
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our community to join us as we celebrate World Communion Sunday on October 4th, 2015 at our three worship services (8:30, 9:35 & 11).  World Communion Sunday takes place on the first Sunday of each October to promote Christian Unity among all God’s Children.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV, our facilities are handicapped accessible and we offer gluten free communion supplies for those with gluten allergies.  All attendees are asked to bring a loaf of bread with them to church and place it at the altar.  All bread will be donated to the Jefferson County Community Ministries Food Bank.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.

Asbury’s 6th Annual Christian Motorcycle Benefit Ride
Asbury United Methodist Men (UMM) will hold the 6th Annual Christian Motorcycle Benefit Ride & Lunch on Saturday; October 10th.  This ride will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a 2-3 hour motorcycle ride in and around the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and conclude with lunch upon our return.  Registration is $20/Rider & $10/Passenger and lunch is included with the registration fee.  All monies raised will be sent directly back into our local community as we support the Scouts, provide meals for our local homeless population and provide assistance to local families in need.  More information on this event can be found at http://www.myasburychurch.org or by contacting the Asbury Church office at 304-725-5513.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street, Charles Town WV, 25414.  God Bless & Safe Riding!


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Where the Wild Bees Roam, Art by Aaron Treher at Craftworks

CraftWorks at Cool Spring will be hosting a day of celebration and education on July 18th to honor artist in residence Aaron Treher as he unveils a permanent art installation at CraftWorks entitled, “Where The Wild Bees Roam”.  Treher’s work represents an unknown species of the 3,999 bee species that are threatened, unseen, and very important to our ecosystem.  “The work is meant to create an awareness and appreciation for those pollinators which go unnoticed, many of which rely on places like CraftWorks at Cool Spring”, explains Treher.

Public Art Installation, Celebration, and Education about Bees

Aaron Treher is a contemporary artist that works in a variety of media to create sculptures and installation artworks.  Treher is based out of Shepherdstown, WV and has strong professional ties to Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Treher will unveil the installation at noon.

CraftWorks at Cool Spring, located at 1469 Lloyd Road in Charles Town, WV, has planned a day filled with creativity, education, and fun for all ages.  The day will kick off with “Coffee, Tea, Art, and Bees” at 10AM, an opportunity to paint, enjoy honey inspired pastries, and learn about attracting pollinators to your gardens, led by acclaimed local artist Rebecca Grace Jones.  You will also have the opportunity to participate in a pressed flower workshop or informational hikes on the 1.5 miles of public trails on the CraftWorks campus.  Space for these activities is limited, so please register at http://www.wvcraftworks.org or by calling 304-728-6233. In addition, the day will include live music, great food and local vendors.

Guests will also enjoy a “White Bee” sale featuring fantastic re-finds for your happy hive.  Donations are currently being accepted for funky, artsy, shabby chic decorating items and can be dropped off or picked up by appointment.  The day will be wrapped up with a “Rhythm Buzz” Drum Circle led the leader of CraftWorks own drum circle leader, Tracy Seffers, from 3pm-4pm.  All levels are welcome and a limited number of percussion will be available. All proceeds from the “White Bee Sale” and workshops will benefit CraftWorks at Cool Spring, a community supported nonprofit offering exceptional creative experiences in art, sustainability, and the natural world.

“Weaving art, creativity, and fun into the conversation about issues that effect our community, not only brings the community together, but broadens our potential to have a positive impact” -

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Terri Burhans at 910-238-0247 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Learn about Tools for Historic Preservation in Shepherdstown

Do you appreciate the historic structures in Shepherdstown?  Want to learn more about a home you recently purchased in the Historic District? Are you wondering about how you might get tax benefits or technical assistance for your next rehabilitation project?

Come to a special evening with Jennifer Brennan, Architectural Historian, on Monday, July 13 starting at 7:00 PM at the Shepherdstown Community Club War Memorial Building, 102 E German St. The Shepherdstown Historic Landmarks Commission will host Ms. Brennan from the State Historic Preservation Office, Charleston, WV who serves communities by coordinating grants and tax credits. She also assists communities with preservation resources and sharing techniques.

West Virginia property owners who live in Certified Local Government communities (like Shepherdstown) can apply for the Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program if their projects are approved under the Secretary of the Interior’s standards.Both residential and commercial properties are eligible for the program. Historic preservation has proven economic, environmental, and social benefits. Studies show that historic districts maintain higher property values and a greater sense of community.  This presentation will be the place to get involved with historic preservation in Shepherdstown, benefitting your pocket, your home, and our town.


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Join Taylor’s Farm Market For Their First Annual Summer Peach Festival

Join Taylor’s Farm Market for bushels of family fun at our first annual SUMMER PEACH FESTIVAL, Saturday July 25th from 9am-5pm.

Enjoy kids games and activities by Connections Community Church, bouncy house & dunk tank, wine tastings, live music from TORN Band and Curt & Cathy>New City Entertainment, yummy food, arts & crafts, amazing sales and, of course, everything PEACHES!

Sponsored by United Bank & Doc’s Tea! Part of the proceeds benefiting Berkeley County Humane Society!


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Top Ten Cellphone Etiquette Breaches And How To Avoid Them

U.S. Cellular Provides Etiquette Advice for July, National Cellphone Courtesy Month

There are now more wireless devices in the world than there are humans.  July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and people, in all walks of life, have strong opinions when it comes to appropriate cellphone use.

“At U.S. Cellular we believe mobile devices, such as the 4G LTE iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S 6 can enhance and simplify your life whether you are traveling throughout the nation or spending time with loved ones at home,” says Linda Click, area sales manager for U.S. Cellular, “When cellphone etiquette is kept top of mind, mobile devices can improve the time we spend with families and friends, not take away from it.”

Cellphone etiquette is becoming critical to observe in both casual and professional settings. A recent U.S. Cellular survey identified the top 10 etiquette breaches and offers a few simple solutions to help overcome some of them.

It’s Not Me, It’s You: About two-thirds of phone owners believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use – similar to the proportion (66 percent) that gets upset at others, at least sometimes. It’s easy to overlook your own etiquette breaches and focus on others, but remember that you may be doing the same thing.

Look Away:  According to the U.S. Cellular survey, 70 percent of smartphone users think that it is rude to look at a phone while you are having a face-to-face conversation, and 66 percent think it is rude while dining with others.  Instead, if you have to use your phone, politely excuse yourself and try to be quick so you can get back to your current company.

Collision Course:  Texting and using a phone while walking can cause mishaps if you are not watching where you step.  Thirty-six percent of smartphone users had someone walk into them while they were looking at their phone and 28 percent admitted to strolling into someone or something themselves!

Attention to Detail:  Some smartphone owners get annoyed when people don’t respond to them in the same way in which they communicated first. The survey found that 31 percent will get frustrated if you call in response to a text.

Too Much Time on My Hands:  How long does it take to get back to someone?  Smartphone owners say they get somewhat or extremely annoyed if it takes more than a day to respond to voicemail (62 percent) or takes more than an hour to respond to a text (58 percent). 

In the Know:  Although people love to run with the pack, almost half (47 percent) are annoyed by group text messages.  A solution could be to limit group texts to the people who really need to be involved.

Listen Up: Before the dawn of caller-id it was impossible to avoid conversations without picking up the phone, but nowadays 42 percent of survey respondents admit to checking who is calling first to avoid conversations.  If someone is trying to contact you, sometimes a quick conversation is easier than exchanging voicemails and texts.

On a Date: Although acceptable behavior includes an arrival text at a date location and using a text to work out key details of the date. Texting while on the actual date is deal breaker (only 25 percent of people find this acceptable) and could turn the other person off.

Textiquette:  Although there is variance where it comes to age, overall, more than half (64 percent) of those surveyed agree that a text message should be responded to within minutes and 25 percent think within seconds. The exception is while you are at work, where 42 percent think that is inappropriate to text at all.

Hold the Butter:  There are two public places that top the list where survey goers report they see the worst cellphone behavior: restaurants and movie theatres. It may be a good idea to be extra mindful of your cellphone use while in these venues.

For more information stop by the Martinsburg U.S. Cellular store at 940 Foxcroft Ave. or call 304-264-0400.


¹ Results are from a nationally-representative online survey of 738 smartphone owners conducted by U.S. Cellular in partnership with Maritz Research from November 12-20, 2014.

Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 98 percent will have access by the end of 2015. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.

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Kids Entrepreneur Day at Morgan’s Grove Market July 18

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV - Kids Entrepreneur Day will take place on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at Morgan’s Grove Market, located at 3988 Kearneysville Pike in Shepherdstown. Organizers say the day was created to empower children to develop entrepreneurial skills by allowing them to sell their product at the market
Market Manger Susie Wimer says that children 18 years and younger are eligible to participate. Wimer says ideas for kids include artwork, crafts, food,  jewelry,  or services.

“It’s important for parents and the community to encourage and foster the growth of the entrepreneurial spirit in children,” says Wimer. “When children realize they can develop an idea, create a product, and sell it, it builds their confidence and self-esteem.”

Sol Lucia Aguilar, an eight year old from Shepherdstown, is a young, local entrepreneur. She’s the creator of Sol’s Sunny Stop, a small business of fresh-squeezed, homemade lemonade. Sol Lucia sold her drinks at last year’s Kid Entrepreneur Day and did exceptionally well. “I love being responsible for everything - making the lemonade, handling all the money and deciding what I want to do with the money too,” Sol Lucia says. She also donates a percentage of her profits to Alex’s Lemonade Stand - a well-known organization that raises money for the research and treatment of various childhood cancers.

“I loved watching her do this all on her own. She thought of the idea, made a plan for execution, and even came up with the idea to donate some of the proceeds to charity,” says Sol Lucia’s mom, Molly Humphreys. “She loves knowing that she has a product that people enjoy and says she has a lot of fun doing it.”

Participants should be prepared to bring everything they need for the day, including their products, change for customers, as well as a table, chairs and tent if they wish.

The $20 vendor fee has been waived thanks to event and community sponsor The Bavarian Inn.

To participate in Kids Entrepreneur Day at Morgan’s Grove Market, please contact Market Manager Susie Wimer at 304-582-7063 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Morgan’s Grove Market is located at 3988 Kearneysville Pike in Shepherdstown. For more information about Morgan’s Grove Market, visit http://www.Facebook.com/MorgansGroveMarket.

About Morgan’s Grove Market:
Morgan’s Grove Market is a health-conscious, sustainable market based in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Founded in 2011, Morgan’s Grove Market has dedicated itself to providing citizens with an opportunity to create an environmentally and economically sustainable community through an agricultural-based healthy lifestyle.


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Call for Artists: Third Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit Entry Deadline: August 10, 2015

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, WV announces the Third Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit, to be displayed in the Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The exhibition will be on display October 8 - November 8, 2015 with a reception on Saturday, October 17. The exhibit is open to artists in all media who reside in one of the eight counties that compose what is known as the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Those counties are Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and Pendleton.

http://www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks/ewvexhibit/


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Call for Artists: “Life in the Wild” Entry Deadline: July 20, 2015

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, WV announces “Life in the Wild”, a juried wildlife art exhibit to celebrate the beauty and diversity of life in the natural world. For purposes of this exhibit, “wildlife” includes non-domesticated animals, plants and other organisms that live wild in an area without being introduced by humans. (Wikipedia). The exhibit will displayed from September 2 through October 3, 2015 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The exhibition is open to visual artists over the age of 18 in all media including but not limited to painting, sculpture, carving, ceramics, photography or mixed media.

http://www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks/wildlife/


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Berkeley Arts Council Offers Free “Mini-Lessons”

The Berkeley Arts Council will offer a series of free “Mini-lessons” about various painting media for those who have thought about taking art classes but did not know what was involved.

The free lessons will help participants prepare for the Berkeley Arts Council fall class schedule, which will include beginning watercolor, acrylic, pastels, oil painting, and drawing.

Free lessons in July and August are:

  • Acrylic Painting – August 1, 1pm
  • Drawing – August 15, 3pm
  • Colored Pencil – July 11, 2pm; August 14, 1pm
  • Oil Painting – July 14, 1pm; August 6, 6pm
  • Realistic Rendering with Mixed Media – July 14, 6pm; August 6, 1pm
  • Pastels – July 17, 1pm; August 8, 1pm
  • Watercolor Painting – July 18, 1pm; August 8, 3pm
  • Mixed Media on Watercolor or Acrylic Base – July 18, 3pm; August 15, 1pm

Walk-ins welcome.

The full schedule of fall classes and “Mini-lessons” is on the Berkeley Arts Council web site at http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/.


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Medical Weekend at Harpers Ferry NHP: Giving Aid and Comfort

On Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2015, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, experience the medical aid and relief efforts offered to Civil War soldiers. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park park staff and living history volunteers from the 3rd US., 142nd Pennsylvania Infantry, and the 20th Maine Hospital will demonstrate national, local, civilian, and military efforts that sustained the Union Army. In the autumn of 1864, as General Philip Sheridan prepared his army for the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Harpers Ferry became a launching point and depot, which supplied food, equipment, ammunition, and medical attention for the army in the field. 

Living history volunteers along with park staff will portray Harpers Ferry’s medical and relief efforts, which provided aid and comfort to the thousands of soldiers fighting during the American Civil War. The outpouring of funds and care was so vast that the relief effort was described as “an artery of the people’s love to the people’s army.” This program will tell the story of both the national and local civilian and military efforts to sustain the Union Army. At Harpers Ferry, field hospitals, a commissary, diet kitchens, soldiers rests, the U.S. Quartermaster, and the U.S. Sanitary Commission all contributed to the vast sustenance needed to maintain an army.


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Red Cross of NE WV Welcomes New Major Gifts Officer

MORGANTOWN, W. Va., Monday, July 2, 2015— The American Red Cross announces that Tammy Whitacre has been named the new Major Gifts Office located in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Having worked in the Non-Profit world for over 10 years, Tammy has experience in Research & Prospect Management, Annual Fund Planning and Implementation, Planned Giving, Direct Mail, Special Events, Alumni Relations, and Major Gift Solicitation. Tammy comes to us from her most recent role as Director of Development at the Fairmont State Foundation. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Tammy worked at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center as their Director of Development from 2012 to 2014 and Assistant Director of Development from 2008 to 2012. She began her work in Fundraising as a Senior Prospect Research Analyst at the West Virginia University Foundation in 2005 where she worked until moving over to the Cancer Center.

Tammy, originally from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, came to West Virginia and received her B.A. and M.A. from West Virginia University (WVU) with a focus on Communication Theory and Research. This focus, in conjunction with growing up in a family that displayed a strong emphasis and appreciation of philanthropy, is what drove Tammy to the non-profit world. Along with Tammy’s love for fundraising and philanthropy, she is also an Adjunct Professor at Fairmont State University where she teaches Speech Communication.

Just recently, Tammy was named as one of the West Virginia’s State Journals 40 Under 40. This award highlights 40 individuals younger than age 40 who are working and volunteering to make West Virginia a better place. She is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership WV Class as well as an Alumni Mentor at WVU in the Department of Communication Studies and participates in the West Virginia e-mentoring program. 

Tammy resides in Morgantown, WV with her husband Brian and their two Morkies, Samantha and Charlie. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 304.598.9500 ext. 2117. 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. In West Virginia, visit redcrosswv.org or visit us on Twitter at @ARCWV.


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Tickets On Sale For Downtown Summer Slide Festival From What’s NXT

Hagerstown, MD - What’s NXT announces tickets are now on sale for the Downtown Summer Slide Festival on August 29, 2015 featuring an 825-foot water slide. The festival will run from 11 am to 4 pm and include live music, a beer garden, food trucks and kid’s activities.

Regular slide tickets are available for purchase in 30-minute waves from 12 pm to 4 pm. VIP slide tickets are available for purchase in 30-minute waves from 11 am to 12 pm and include an event t-shirt. Ticket holders are permitted unlimited slides during their time slot.  Riders must be over 48 inches and 5 years of age to participate.  Children under the age of 18 must have legal guardians sign a release.

Slide Ticket Prices:
Early-bird Tickets (before 7/11) - Regular ($25) and VIP ($35)

General Tickets (after 7/11) - Regular ($30) and VIP ($40)

“We want to make sure participants are able to get a full experience,“ says Melissa Fountain, Director of Events for What’s NXT.  “We feel by limiting the amount of riders in each wave, we’ll ensure each one feels they got a fun and worthwhile experience.”

What’s NXT has partnered with local businesses and organizations to provide a beer garden inside University Plaza which opens at 12pm and includes performances by Bluegrass band, The Plate Scrapers, at 12pm and Americana band, The Woodshedders, at 2:15pm.  Admission into the beer garden is $10 and includes a souvenir cup and your first beer free.

General admission is free for the street activities.

To inquire about vendor space and sponsorship opportunities, contact Melissa Fountain at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 240-347-0465, ext. 151.

What’s NXT launched in January 2013 from the founders of High Rock and is located in City Center of Downtown Hagerstown.  For more information, visit whatsnxt.com.


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Vinyasa Yoga Basics Workshop at Jala Yoga

Winchester, VA—Jala Yoga, the vibrant yoga studio with locations in Winchester, Charles Town, WV, and Shepherdstown, WV, is offering “Basics of Vigorous Vinyasa” workshops at all three locations this summer.  Taught by Jala instructor Kimber Hyatt, this workshop will pinpoint and strengthen the skills necessary for success in any vinyasa yoga class.  The workshop, which costs $35, will be held at the Shepherdstown studio, 117 West German Street, on Saturday, July 11, from 2-5 pm; at the Charles Town studio, 307 West Washington Street, on Saturday, July 25, from 2-5 pm; and at the Winchester studio, Creekside Station, 3119 Valley Avenue, on Saturday, August 8, from 2-5 pm.  Registration and information can be found at http://www.jalayogaflow.com, or by calling 401-440-0279.

Kimber will cover the sequences of Sun Salutations A and B, how to build both the strength and confidence necessary to achieve some of the quintessential yoga poses, helpful breathing techniques, and finding variations for poses that are right for each individual.  Kimber aims to have participants leave with tools to continue strengthening and deepening their practice.

Jala Yoga offers classes seven days a week for all levels of practitioners at its 3 locations.  The full schedule and additional information can be found at http://www.jalayogaflow.com or by calling 401-440-0279.


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Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau Launches New Web Site

Hagerstown, MD - The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a new website, effective July 1, 2015, called http://www.VisitHagerstown.com. The new site includes an internal content management system to for search engine optimization, a new Calendar of Events program, and richer photography and design elements.  It also highlights the CVB’s nearly three hundred membership more effectively with listings similar to the styles found on popular travel industry websites. The site has also been renamed to more readily appeal to visitors and features a blog.

“The new web site name is based on analytics of web searches that visitors used to find us, those that included the search terms of visit Hagerstown,” said CVB President, Dan Spedden. “This sparked a re-branding of the CVB, through the website, to “Visit Hagerstown” based on consumer behavior in web searches for Hagerstown. CVB’s across the USA are branding themselves in a similar manner. We are very happy with the new site and look forward to it helping us to expand the tourism economy of Washington County,” he continued.

The CVB plunged head first into digital marketing, by implementing digital ad campaigns, search engine optimization, sponsored articles, and other initiatives. In 2014, the CVB created a marketing and digital communications department, to oversee these efforts and to stay competitive as a travel destination. The new website allows many changes to be made directly with DH Web’s content management system.  “Staff can make use of analytical data from the site and apply it in meaningful ways,” said Spedden.

The site will allow users to sign up for the visitor’s newsletter and press releases.  A second phase of the website redesign is planned for 2016, will include a trip builder, and other features.


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Works by America’s Master Photographers at WCMFA Opens July 11

HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present Masters of American Photography, an exhibition of exceptional photographs on loan from the collection of the Reading Public Museum in Reading, PA.  This extraordinary exhibition represents 100 years of the history of photography from the 1880s through the 1980s, with a particular emphasis on the first decades of the twentieth century.  The exhibition includes iconic images by some of the most important artists in the history of the medium including Eadweard Muybridge, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and Paul Strand.

Themes such as portraiture, landscape, still life, and cultural history dramatically illustrate America during this period.  Many of the featured works are vintage prints, made by the photographers themselves very close to the time the negative was created.  Some are later prints, made by the photographers or their assistants at a later time.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Robert Hein, Professor of Art at Frostburg State University, will present an illustrated lecture, “Modern American Photography” on Sunday, September 13, 2:30 pm, at the museum.  On the closing day of the exhibition, October 25, John Graydon Smith, Director of the Reading Public Museum, will speak at 2:30 pm in the exhibition gallery.

The exhibition has been organized by the Reading Public Museum, and guest-curated by Rachael Arauz, Ph.D.

Opening Weekend Program: “Modern American Photography” lecture by Robert Hein, Professor of Art, Frostburg State University: Sunday, September 13 at 2:30 pm
Closing Weekend Program: Gallery Talk by John Graydon Smith, Director of the Reading Public Museum: Sunday, October 25, at 2:30 pm

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown MD


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US Cellular: Protect Your Phone During Summer Fun

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – As summer heats up, people are planning vacations and cooling off with water-related destinations. Whether headed to the beach for a week, the lake for a weekend or a staycation at a water park, it’s important to keep your wireless device safe.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 68 percent of smartphone owners have used their phones to assist with traveling. To ensure your device is safe on the trip, U.S. Cellular is offering a free Device Workshop during which current or potential customers can ask questions and learn about any device or accessory.

On Wednesday, July 8th, 2105 at 5:00pm at 940 Foxcroft Ave., Martinsburg, W.Va., U.S. Cellular associates will also discuss their latest wireless needs and questions. The workshop is open to everyone, and you don’t have to be a U.S. Cellular customer to attend.

“We want the Martinsburg community to know how to protect their devices while enjoying summer fun,” said Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Mid-South. “You will learn how to keep your device safe and dry, so your summer outings can be worry-free. Wherever the summer takes you, the U.S. Cellular 4G LTE network has you covered at home and across the country.”

Anyone who attends the workshop will have the opportunity to win an iPad mini 3. Four iPad mini 3 devices will be awarded each month across the organization.

Please call 304-264-0400 to RSVP to the Device Workshop.

¹ Results are from a nationally representative online survey of 738 smartphone owners conducted by U.S. Cellular in partnership with Maritz Research from November 12-20, 2014.

Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 98 percent will have access by the end of 2015. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest -news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.


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Dedication of New Berkeley Springs Historical Markers Held June 19

The United Daughters of the American Revolution Ye Towne of Bath Chapter, and Morgan County Historical and Genealogical Society held a ceremony on June 19 to dedicate new historical lot markers in Berkeley Springs. The project was funded by a DAR Historical Preservation Grant.

The joint venture involved replacing 22 historical markers and 10 posts identifying the owners of 22 of the 133 original lots in the Town of Bath. These markers were originally erected in 1976 through the efforts of Betty Lou Harmison when she was part of a Bicentennial committee for the county. The signs had become worn, or damaged over the years and needed to be replaced to help the many visitors to the Town of Bath learn the history of the early settlers and land owners.

The dedication was held at Berkeley Springs State Park, since it is on an original portion of 133 Town of Bath lots from 1776, when the town was formed. The adjacent Country Inn is on four lots.  Posting of the colors was done by Kyle Kesecker and Michael Deloof of the Boy Scouts; the National Anthem was sung by Kayley Brinegar, who won the 8th Grade category of a DAR essay contest. Revolutionary War music was performed by Michael Kligerman.  Speakers included local historian Betty Lou Harmison, Ye Town of Bath Chapter Regent Gail Potter, Project coordinator Fred Widmyer, and Eastern Director for West Virginia DAR Cheryl Brown.  Refreshments were provided by DAR members.

Funding for the project was made possible through the sponsorship of Ye Towne of Bath Chapter of Berkeley Springs. Past historical society president and project coordinator Fred Widmyer worked with Chapter Regent Gail Potter, Nancy Edwards, Lulu Belle Robertson, and Linda McGraw.  They applied to the national DAR for a grant for historical preservation in Dec. 2013. The DAR grants program was started in 2010. Funding is awarded to support projects in local communities which promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism. 

The historical society was awarded the grant by the DAR of $1,296.50 in July 2014 last summer to purchase the needed signs and sign posts. Some signs were installed on buildings. There were only two grants awarded to West Virginia in 2014.

Work on the project took longer than expected due to a delay in acquiring the materials from the manufactures. A company in Hagerstown, Md., made the signs. The extreme cold weather also contributed to the delay in completing the project until spring 2015, since all of the preparation work and installation of the post and markers was outside work. 

Widmyer said Mayor Susan Webster and town council member Beth Skinner helped out with the project. The workmen that installed the new posts for the markers were Rodney Steiner, Dean Van Gosen and Caleb Barker.

The grant application was for $1,765, but the cost of the markers and sign posts was less than expected.  The markers cost an average of $56.50 each. The posts purchased on which to put the markers average $135 each.

Widmyer said. “The historical society provided matching funds through fundraising and donations.”

The original markers went up in 1976, when Betty Lou Harmison started the Bicentennial Lot Signs and Map Project. Her husband’s family owned the Parkview Inn (now the Country Inn), on four of the historic lots in the colonial town. After researching deeds and unearthing drawings and photos, she produced a town walking tour brochure. She asked all the lot owners if markers could be placed on their properties to show the owners of 1776 when the town of Bath was also formed.

Harmison recalled, “I was part of a county Bicentennial committee of four or five people.  I was always interested with the original plat of the town and the lot owners. They were important people in the 18th Century. I thought it was a good project since Bath was an important town in 1776. It took a lot of time, but the money came from a state or federal Bicentennial commission and PGS (now U.S. Silica).  I got the brochure printed, which is still in print.”

She tried to get the town on the National Historic Register but was unable to do so. She was told the town had the historic sites, but not enough historic structures. In 2009, after three years’ work by others like Nancy Harvey, the Town of Bath Historic District was formed for those original lots.

Harmison also told the audience about the town’s Bicentennial celebrations in 1976.  The Town of Bath is a sister city to Bath, England. At the same time the original marker project was being completed, Harmison and others helped out with a visit from Bath, England’s mayor and other dignitaries. She recalled how the crowds lined the park and streets all the way up to Berkeley Castle, where a receiving line was held to greet the mayor from across the pond.  She recalled their 16th Century costumes and regalia worn in a procession at the park.

Town of Bath Mayor Susan Webster spoke briefly about the spirit of a small community that must band together on projects such as this for the greater good of the community and historical education and preservation.

Cheryl Brown, from the Pack Horse Ford Chapter in Jefferson County, said she was pleased that a portion of DAR members’ dues was being returned to the area through this grant.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With 178,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit http://www.DAR.org. For more about applying for a Special Projects Grant from DAR, visit http://www.dar.org/grants.

There are several DAR chapters in the Eastern Panhandle.

Note: Tricia Strader is also Vice Regent of Ye Towne of Bath Chapter DAR

Photo: Historical markers project coordinator Fred Widmyer, Ye Towne of Bath DAR Regent Gail Potter, Original historical markers project coordinator Betty Lou Harmison, Eastern Panhandle DAR director Cheryl Brown, Town of Bath Mayor Susan Webster


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Jala Yoga to Offer Summer Intensive Teacher Training

Winchester, VA – Jala Yoga, located at Creekside Station, 3119 Valley Avenue, Unit 110, is offering its first summer intensive 200-hour yoga teaching certification in Winchester. The Yoga Alliance-registered training meets Monday to Friday, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, from July 13 to August 6, 2015. The cost is $2,200. Scholarships are available.

The Jala Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training is for serious students of yoga with at least one year of practice who want to deepen it and learn to share it with others. Highlights of the training include how to teach the physical postures, anatomy, philosophy, and breathwork. Participants will receive their 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification upon completion.

Full details of the unique Jala Yoga teacher training can be found at http://www.jalayogaflow.com. For more information and to register, contact Christa Mastrangelo Joyce, Jala owner and lead teacher, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or at 401-440-0279.

Jala Yoga is an intimate studio with three locations: Winchester, VA: Charles Town, WV; and Shepherdstown, WV.  In addition to teacher training, Jala offers multiple classes every day, for all experience levels, taught by a variety of certified yoga teachers.  Jala also presents workshops covering yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and wellness on a regular basis. Visit http://www.jalayogaflow.com for more information.

PHOTO: Christa Mastrangelo Joyce, Jala Yoga owner and lead teacher of the Yoga Teaching Certification program (credit: Pang Tubhirun)


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“Crit Group Works” Exhibit at the Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Art Works announces Crit Group Works, a fine art exhibit of oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, mixed media, and digital photography by seven Eastern Panhandle exhibiting artists. The seven are members of a critique group founded in 2007 who meet twice each month in the studio-home of Doug and Karen Kinnett near Shepherdstown, WV, to build from one another’s ideas and expertise. Exhibiting artists from the group are Gary Bergel, Judy Bradshaw, Rebecca Grace Jones, Stan Jones, Doug Kinnett, Fran Skiles, and Craig Winkel. In addition, noted regional ceramist, Joy Bridy, adds her 3-D pottery works to this exhibit.

“Crit Group Works is an exciting first for the Berkeley Art Works,” says Berkeley Arts Council Board President Malinda Shaver. “The unique exhibit graces space in two separate galleries in two West Virginia counties, our own Berkeley Art Works here in Martinsburg and Charles Town’s Fire Hall Gallery in Jefferson County. Stop by and see the exceptional individual pieces created through a process of group inspiration and encouragement.”

The exhibit will be on display from July 15-August 9 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery at 116 North Queen Street in downtown Martinsburg. A reception will be held Saturday, July 25, from 4-6 pm. During the reception, at 5 pm, Crit Group founder and former Coordinator of the Art Education Major at Shepherd University, will discuss the crit group concept and value of such a group to artists. The exhibit, reception and artist’s talk are free and open to the public.

A companion exhibit is in the Fire Hall Gallery in Charles Town from July 1- 28. The Charles Town reception is July 10 from 6-8 pm.

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.

Photo: Bridy Joy bottle with cups


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3rd Annual Mystery Caches of Berkeley County Kickoff on June 27

Your weekend adventure begins here… explore Martinsburg and Berkeley County as you discover the Mystery Caches of Berkeley County.

You’re invited to the kickoff of our Third Geocaching Trail - Mystery Caches of Berkeley County (MCBC), sponsored by the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). We have partnered with WVTim to place this very unique Geotrail. Most of the caches are “gadget” caches, typically easy to find, but where the cacher will have to do “something” to access the log.

The Mystery Caches of Berkeley County (MCBC) trail will launch Saturday, June 27th in conjunction with our first ever two day event called Odd Fest - Weird, Wild and Wonderful.

This EVENT will kickoff at The Roundhouse at 100 E Liberty Street, Martinsburg, WV. The event will start at 1:00 pm and will end at 1:45 pm. There will be time for visiting, bug trading, photos and more. Around 1:45 the cache sites will go active (paper coordinates will be available in case we have a technical meltdown!). At 1:30 door prizes will be announced. There is parking on site. There are no restrooms on site, but there is one very near-by. If you are a railroad or architecture buff, feel free to come a little early for tours of the Roundhouse.

While you are here, check out our other two trails, Villages of Berkeley County and Gadgets of Berkeley County (if you have not done so).
And yes, we have coins for all trails!

There is plenty to see and do, and, to make it easier to find that bite to eat or place to stay or play, download our FREE mobile app VISIT MARTINSBURG, WV from your app store.

With 14,000+ favorite points, Berkeley County, West Virginia is sure to be among the best places to geocache in the United States!!!


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Adult Fall 2015 Hockey Registration is now Open!

Adult Hockey Registration for the Fall of 2015 is currently open.

Deadline for registration is September 4, 2015 Applications received after the deadline will incur a $10 late fee.

Registration fee is $60. There is a $40 fee for any new jerseys that need to be ordered (either replacements, for returning players, or for new players)

We offer a $5 discount to anyone 16 + STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL and registering for BOTH the Majors and Adult league.

You may register in person at either the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center or the Randy Smith Recreation Center.

You may register online here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mbcparksandrecdept/Home#

You may download the hockey form here: http://www.mbcparks-rec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ADULT-Hockey-Registration-Fall-2015.pdf

Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation
273 Woodbury Ave.
Martinsburg, WV
25404


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Eastern Panhandle Technology Innovation Center Hosts Business Workshop Series

As part of its ongoing mission to support business development, The Eastern Panhandle Technological Innovation Center (EPTIC), is hosting a series of evening workshops to help business owners achieve success. 

The series is being presented by Brett Hersh, EA, MBA, a popular regional speaker and developer of The Five Pillars of Business Success. 

The series kicked off on June 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm with a 90-minute workshop that focused on defining what it means to achieve business success, and the challenges faced by owners attempting to reach it. 

The series will continue on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM when the First Pillar of Business Success, The Customer Experience, will be discussed.  At this workshop, attendees will learn about the customer experience and how to maximize its value for their customers, prospects, and community. 

“Many business owners believe they are only selling a quality product or service,” said Hersh.  “Although a quality product or service is absolutely vital, it merely gets owners in the marketplace door.  Individuals have many, many options with which to satisfy their needs and wants.  To be successful long-term, we want owners to drill down on what makes their business special – ‘why’ their customers choose to buy from them and not a competitor.

“We call this ‘why’ the Customer Experience.  The Customer Experience forms the foundation of a businesses’ identity.  Once armed with it, owners can maximize and communicate its value to become formidable competitors in the marketplace.”

The series will continue with the Second Pillar of Business Success: Make a Profit, on June 30, 2015.  The workshops will then continue into July.

The workshops location will be held at The Eastern Panhandle Technology Innovation Center (EPTIC), located at 216 S. George St, in Charles Town, WV.  For more information or to reserve your seat, contact Joe Rice, EPTIC Director, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (443) 739-7605.


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“To Garrison the Fort…” program at Fort Frederick State Park, June 13 and 14

Big Pool, Md.– Historic Fort Frederick will take visitors on a journey back in time to the French and Indian War as living historians garrison the fort and demonstrate life at the fort from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday.

“The To Garrison the Fort program will bring the fort back to life with the daily activities performed by the soldiers and women stationed there during the French and Indian War” said Bob Study, Park Ranger at Fort Frederick State Park.

Highlights of the event include:
• Flag raising ceremony at 10 am
• Flag lowering ceremony at 4 pm
• Musket firing presentations at 10:30 and 11:30 am, and 12:30, 1:30, 3:30 and 4:30 pm
• Volunteer Company Drills at 1 and 4 pm
• The Pennsylvania Associators Talk at 12 pm
• Gender Roles in 18th Century American Indian Society at 2 pm
• Firing at Marks at 2:30 pm

Fort volunteers representing Alexander’s Beall’s Company will teach visitors how to load and fire a 6 lb cannon at 11 am and 3 pm.  (The cannon will not be fired during the program.)  Throughout the weekend, laundry and hearth cooking demonstrations will take place in the barracks.

The French and Indian War, which was fought between 1756 and 1763, changed the landscape and fabric of the North American continent forever. Experience the war, which pitted the French and their Indian allies against the British and their Indian allies, at Fort Frederick State Park.

There is a service charge for this event of $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $5.00 per vehicle for non-residents.  Disabled access is available; however, most of the event activities are situated on grassy areas that may present difficult rolls or walks.  Please dress for inclement weather or hot sunny days.  Food, gift, and souvenir items will be available for sale at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop.

Fort Frederick is located off of Rt 70 exit 12 at State Route 56, Big Pool, MD. For more information about the Garrison Weekend or other Fort Frederick activities, please call the park at 301-842-2155 during the office hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm weekends.


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Jack and the Beanstalk at The Washington County Playhouse

The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater is proud to announce the next production for young audiences: Jack and the Beanstalk.

Jack and the Beanstalk opens on Saturday June 13 and continues on June 20, 27, and July 11, and 18.

Featured actors are Conner Abeles, Shannen Banzhoff, Logan Conner, Tim Diehl, Sue Eckel, Nate LaDow, Johnna Leary, Laura J. Martin, and Scott Rubel.

The retelling of this classic fairy tale is scripted by Steve Steele with Music by Cathie Porter-Borden and Lyrics by Leon Borden. The Music Director is Heather Watkins. Laura J. Martin directs.

The show is preceded by lunch. Doors open at 11:30 am. All tickets $15.00.

For tickets call 301-739-7469


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Call for Artists: Third Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Art Exhibit

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Call for Artists for the Third Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit, to be displayed in the Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The exhibition will be on display October 8 – November 8, 2015.

The exhibit is open to artists in all media who reside in one of the eight counties that compose what is known as the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Those counties are Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and Pendleton.

The Juror for the exhibit is Rhonda J. Smith, Chair, Department of Contemporary Art and Theater At Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.

The full prospectus and online entry system is on the Berkeley Arts Council web site at http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/ewvexhibit/.

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans.

The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.


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WV CALA Kicks Off “Small Business Summer” Tour

Charleston, W.Va. – To help shine a spotlight on the importance of small businesses for our state and the harm these businesses can face from abusive lawsuits, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) announced the kick-off of its Small Business Summer Tour today.

“We are very excited to kick off our third annual statewide tour to highlight how lawsuit abuse can hurt small businesses. Small businesses are often targeted by the personal injury lawyers, and one abusive lawsuit can close the doors of a small business for good,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

“Thanks to the hard work of our legislature under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole and Speaker Tim Armstead for the first time in a long time we will have an opportunity to talk about some of the much needed lawsuit reforms that were passed during the legislative session,” Stauffer added.

WV CALA will host several small business roundtable meetings across West Virginia.  The first took place last week in Mount Hope with Delegate Kayla Kessinger. Five others are planned during the summer months – in Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, and Wheeling.

“We’re talking with small businesses, community leaders, and elected officials this summer to bring attention to much needed fixes for our legal system, to highlight the importance of recent lawsuit reforms, and also to show the effects of abusive lawsuits on small businesses across West Virginia filed by millionaire personal injury lawyers. Some lawsuits have merit, but many are more about greed than about seeking justice,” concluded Stauffer.

According to survey research by the Institute for Legal Reform, approximately seven in ten small business owners say that a lawsuit would force them to reduce benefits for current employees and hold back on hiring new ones. Also, states that have passed legal reforms have seen meaningful economic growth.


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Beth Walker Announces Campaign For Supreme Court Of Appeals Of West Virginia

Morgantown, W.Va. – Today, Beth Walker announced her candidacy for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Walker, a successful attorney, said she hopes to bring fairness and a strong voice for all citizens to the state’s highest court.

“My campaign will be based on my conservative vision for the role of Justice of the Supreme Court, which is to be fair and to uphold the rule of law, without legislating from the bench. I will do my part, as a Supreme Court Justice, to move the state forward by making sure our court system is fair and impartial rather than perceived as something less than that,” said Walker.

During her announcement, Walker spoke about legal reforms passed by the legislature, including nonpartisan election of judges. She hopes these reforms will put West Virginia’s court system back on the side of voters instead of special interests. 

Walker concluded, “I deeply believe we can make West Virginia an even better place to live, work, and raise our families. We face many challenges, including a lingering negative perception about our court system. I will work hard and remain committed to the conservative principles of judicial restraint and fairness. I look forward to the upcoming campaign, as well as the opportunity to earn the support and votes of West Virginians.”

Beth Walker is Associate General Counsel for the West Virginia University Health System, which is the state’s largest healthcare system and second largest private employer. Prior to her current position, Beth was a partner in the law firm of Bowles Rice, where she concentrated her statewide practice on labor and employment law for more than 20 years. Walker came within one-half of one percent of winning a seat on the Supreme Court in 2008.

Beth is married to Mike Walker, an attorney and former Executive Vice President of Cecil I. Walker Machinery Co. They reside in Morgantown, West Virginia.


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Under Fire!: The Battle of Harpers Ferry, 1862

On Saturday and Sunday, June 27th and 28th, visitors are invited to witness the power of field artillery that defended the Union garrison during the Siege of 1862. Harpers Ferry Park’s Living History staff will present artillery demonstrations at 1, 2, and 3 p.m., on the battle which led to General Stonewall Jackson’s capture of 12,500-man Federal soldiers.  A military camp will be open for visitation on the Bolivar Heights Battlefield from 11:00 to 4:00pm. Shuttles from the Visitor Center at Cavalier Heights to the Bolivar Heights Battlefield will be provided.

“We are surrounded by enemy batteries”, wrote a Union officer garrisoned at Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862.  On that day, the 12,500-man Union garrison surrendered to Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  This military action at Harpers Ferry was the largest surrender of Union troops during the American Civil War.  Following the surrender of Federal troops, Jackson’s men marched northward to join Confederate General Robert E. Lee near Sharpsburg, Maryland, arriving in time to save Lee’s flank from annihilation during the Battle of Antietam.


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U.S. Cellular Offers Tips for Safe Online Experiences During Internet Safety Month

As kids seem to grow up faster in today’s digital age, parents are embracing wireless technology to help them feel secure and stay connected to their families throughout the day. While smartphones and tablets can simplify our lives, sometimes parents struggle with how much freedom to give their kids online as well as offline. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that nearly three in four (74 percent) teens ages 12-17 said they access the Internet on cellphones, tablets, and other mobile devices at least occasionally, so conversations around safe Internet use are a good first step in discussing safe cellphone use.

June is Internet Safety Month, and given the vastness of the Internet, many parents wonder how they should monitor their children’s use of the web, whether it is on a computer or a smartphone. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, nearly half of parents (47 percent) said their child has a cellphone, and the average age that children receive cellphones is 12 years old. The majority of parents establish cellphone rules, and two-thirds monitor their children’s cellphone usage, according to the same survey.

“At U.S. Cellular, we know that every family is different so we suggest having open discussions about what works best for your family’s Internet use,” said Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. “Mobile devices can help families stay connected, so we want to be a resource for parents as they make decisions on their child’s first cellphone and the Internet use that goes along with it.”

U.S. Cellular suggests the following tips for parents to help facilitate conversations about using the Internet on mobile devices:

• Have an agreement with your child(ren). U.S. Cellular has created a Parent-Child Agreement to help guide families’ conversations about mobile phone usage. The agreement focuses on safety and etiquette, and is customizable based on each family’s specific needs.
• Discuss online sharing.  Make sure your children know to never share personal information online, including their name, age, address, school or passwords. Remind them to communicate only with family or friends and not to answer unknown requests or texts.
• Share photos appropriately:  Kids may not know that once photos are online they are part of a public space, and can even be modified without their knowledge.  Discuss appropriate use of sharing photos with friends and alert them to never post photos, which could contain information about where they live or be seen as inappropriate.
• Use a protective app.  The U.S. Cellular Family Protector app provides safety and security by monitoring your child’s location and mobile usage. This service allows parents to review their child’s calls and texts, and restrict certain websites and apps. Children can also send their parents an alert with the simple press of a button if they are in trouble or find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

For more information visit the U.S.Cellular store in Martinsburg at 940 Foxcroft Ave., Martinsburg, WV 25401, Phone: 304.264.0400

¹Results are from a nationally representative online survey of 738 smartphone owners conducted by U.S. Cellular in partnership with Maritz Research from Nov. 12-20, 2014.

4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI


About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 98 percent will have access by the end of 2015. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.


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Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle Thanks Comcast

The Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle would like to thank Comcast for a wonderful Comcast Cares Day event. Each year, Comcast recruits staff members from their team and works with our Boys & Girls Club to recruit community volunteers who make a huge impact within our clubs. This year was no exception.

On Saturday, April 25, more than 90 volunteers from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties came out ready and willing to make the Boys & Girls Clubs in our panhandle better for area youth. Volunteer groups from the Juvenile Drug Court, Girl Scouts, Club Members and Parents, along with Comcast/ NBCUniversal and their family and friends banded together to “make change happen.” In addition to weeding, cleaning, and organizing our clubs in Berkeley and Morgan Counties, our Jefferson County Club’s computer lab received a complete makeover. The newly constructed workstation in our technology lab offers a better working environment and provides more space for additional computers. A fresh coat of paint throughout the building also helped bring the club to life.

The event was part of the 14th annual Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort. Comcast has reached important milestones, including 3.7 million service hours to improve nearly 6,000 projects in the U.S. and around the world since Comcast Cares Day began in 2001.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle and Comcast share a common goal – an ongoing commitment to the Eastern Panhandle community. Our relationship is an excellent example of how public-private partnerships can make a difference. Comcast’s steadfast assistance through the years is truly a gift.  They have ensured we have the materials needed to paint, build, and clean the clubs, and we are grateful for this wonderful partnership.

Stacie Rohn, Executive Director
Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle


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Dynamic Networking For Small Business is coming to the Eastern Panhandle

A new opportunity for small businesses to learn from and work with government contracting is coming to the Eastern Panhandle of WV! Dynamic Networking for Small Business (DyNet) is facilitating a major small business networking event on Thursday, June 25th at American Public University System in Charles Town beginning at 8:30 a.m. DyNet is a free, day-long matchmaking event offering small businesses the opportunity to network directly with federal agencies, large prime contractors and other small businesses. Each year the government counts on small businesses to help it fulfill its goals and requirements to sub-contract 23% of its work and multi-billion dollar budget.

SBA Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, John Shoraka and HUBZone Program Director, Mariana Pardo join the West Virginia District and Area Offices for the networking and training event. Attendees will also be able to receive tips from SBA professionals to help businesses start, grow and succeed in the federal government contracting arena. Topics include HUBZone certifications, marketing to federal agencies, marketing to prime contractors and more!

DyNet will give small businesses in West Virginia and surrounding states, time to meet face-to-face with multiple federal agencies and large prime contractors to match their capabilities at one convenient location. According to Deana Dean, President of the I-79 Development Council (I79DC), “This networking conference makes a multitude of small business resources available all in one location to busy entrepreneurs. It is an outstanding opportunity to encourage small business growth and success,” said Dean. The newest location added to the existing DyNet locations in Erie, PA, and Fairmont, WV, strengthens companies with multi-state collaboration and partnering. “We have heard about the success of this event in other places and we are excited to offer it to the business community in this region” added Bill Clark Executive Director of Region 9 and secretary for West-PEP.

The morning will consist of sponsoring organizations and guest speakers discussing unique programs and support available to help small businesses. Lunch is provided to registrants and two hours of one-on-one networking will follow. Small businesses are encouraged to bring a one-sheet capabilities statement or overview to leave with agencies and primes during networking.

Sponsoring organizations include: American Public University System, A-Zone Environmental Services, Eastern Panhandle Technology Innovation Center, Region 9, and Western Potomac Economic Partnership.

“DyNet”, Dynamic Networking for Small Business, is an initiative of I-79 Development Council. To learn more about DyNet, go to http://www.dynetworking.com. To learn more about I-79 Development Council, go to http://www.i79dc.org.


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Fourteenth Annual Don Redman Heritage Awards & Concert at Harpers Ferry NHP

On Saturday, June 27, 2015, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will host the Fourteenth Annual Don Redman Heritage Awards & Concert. This year’s event will honor and feature master jazz pianist, George Cables and legendary trumpeter, Dr. Eddie Henderson. The two men will be joined by the Howard Burns Quartet.

George Cables was born in New York City and classically trained as a youth. After attending the High School of Performing Arts, he went on to the Mannes College of Music, and by 1964 he was playing in a band called The Jazz Samaritans, which included such rising stars as Billy Cobham, Lenny White, and Clint Houston. Noted for his fresh interpretations of classic compositions and innovative style of writing, Cables has performed and recorded with great jazz legends including: Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Dr. Eddie Henderson grew up in San Francisco where he studied trumpet, flugelhorn, and music theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. A truly versatile individual, between 1956 and 1961 he won the Pacific and Midwestern Figure Skating Championships and became the first African American to compete in National Figure Skating Championships. His first trumpet lesson came from Dizzy Gillespie, a friend of his mother, who was a dancer at the original Cotton Club. After three years in the air force, Henderson received a BS in zoology from Berkeley and an MD from Howard University. From 1968 until the late 1980s, he mixed music and medicine, playing and recording with such greats as John Handy, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, and Charles Earland. Dr. Henderson was previously honored in Harpers Ferry as a “Barrier Breaker” at the 2006 Niagara Movement Centennial commemoration.

These jazz greats will receive the Don Redman Heritage Award during the concert on June 27th. Previous recipients of this award include jazz legends such as; Snooky Young, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Hank Jones, Jimmy Heath, Curtis Fuller, John Handy, Jimmy Cobb, Jymie Merrit, Phil Woods, Harold Mabern, Charli Persip, Mickey Roker, Larry Willis and Larry Ridley.

This free awards program and concert will begin at 6:00 P.M on Saturday, June 27, 2015 on the lawn behind the Mather Training Center, on the former Storer College campus in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  For additional information contact the park’s Information Center at 304-535-6029.


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Kindermusik now being offered in Berkeley Springs, WV

Kindermusik International is the world’s leading provider of music, movement and literacy programs for young children, enjoyed by more than two million families in over 70 countries. For more than 35 years, Kindermusik has helped children and their families discover how music can enrich their lives and lay the foundation for a lifetime love of learning.

Kindermusik not only enhances musical growth, but also streghthens relationships between parents and child. In the group setting, families also naturally begin to form a strong community.

Kindermusik classes give parents the opportunity to engage in safe, fun and developmentally appropriate music-and-movement experiences with children ages newborn to three. (Classes for 3-7 years old will be formed as interest grows)
Classes are divided by age group and involve a mixture of singing, instrument play, dancing and movement, story-time, and other activities that help children and their families discover how music can enrich their lives and lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

A few key benefits to the classes:
Activities are designed to develop and strengthen a child’s physical and neural functions, social-emotional skills, early literacy, early math, and much more.

The style of the class allows for parent/child bonding moments. This bonding boosts learning. Music and movement classes can spark learning in young children, and when done in conjunction with a parent, can help build bonds between parent and child.
Parents are supplied with home materials that can continue the fun and learning after class and provide valuable resources for great parenting.

Classes are $40 a month, plus at home material costs (average $10 a month).

Kathy Seager, is an experienced early childhood music educator. She was trained in Kindermusik, at Kindermusik International in Greensboro,NC, in 1993. She owned and operated a very successful Kindermusik studio in Charleston, WV. She not only worked from her studio, but she also traveled to several surrounding counties to work with at-risk communities. The grants she co-wrote with organizations such as The United Way’s “parents as teachers”, Charleston Area Medical Center, Kanawha County Schools and The WV Division of Culture and History, allowed Kathy to passionately reach many families who were financially burden and many children with special needs. She also worked as an adjunct voice teacher at The University of Charleston. She is a soprano soloist and could be heard singing in concert halls, musical theater, opera and special church services in the Charleston and Huntington areas. Kathy is thrilled to once again have the opportunity to teach Kindermusik to families. Since 2001, she has taught general music and chorus in our Morgan County Schools.

Please contact Kathy Seager, if you would like more information on enrolling for class!

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Or…you can go straight to her website and enroll. http://Kindermusik.com/kindermusikatthegranary

The address for the weekly classes is:
The New Earth Granary
143 N. Mercer St
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411


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Take a walk on the wild side with the 3rd annual HARC Hike for Hunger & Hope

Middletown, MD:  The public is invited to join a guided hike of the wild and beautiful Appalachian Trail in Maryland from the West Virginia line in Harper’s Ferry north to Washington Monument State Park in Middletown, MD. The full trek is 20 miles and will include rest stops, water and Gatorade, snacks, lunch, hike support and a celebration with food, music and fun with friends at Washington Monument State Park.

Two shorter hikes will be offered: a 10-mile hike starting at Gathland State Park and a 5-mile family hike starting at Lamb’s Knoll.  Hikes are staggered in start times and places in order to finish close together and join in the celebration at Washington Monument State Park.  There will be a hike leader for each of the three groups. 

The Appalachian Trail in Maryland follows the crest of South Mountain on the border between Washington and Frederick Counties. The terrain is hilly and rocky, requiring hikers to be in good physical shape. The hike will cover the southern half of the AT in Maryland, traveling north from the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry, WV, and finishing at Washington Monument State Park, above Boonsboro, MD.  The 5-mile family hike is less strenuous, starting at Lamb’s Knoll, the highest peak of the trail, and traversing downhill much of the hike.

Proceeds from the hike benefit Micah’s Backpack and the work of the Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC).  Micah’s Backpack is program to provide weekend meals to hungry elementary school children and is a partnership of HARC, 34 sponsoring churches and organizations, and Washington County Public Schools.  HARC’s initiatives include Learning Parties – a proven curriculum to help parents prepare their children to enter school “ready to learn” – an annual Community Book Drive for literacy, a food pantry and soup kitchen collaboration, and other faith community collaborations.

For more information about the HARC Hike for Hunger & Hope, visit http://www.harccoalition.org/hike or call 301-842-4272.

Date & Time: Saturday June 13, 2015.  5-mile, 10-mile, and 20-mile hike distances start at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon respectively.

Place:  Appalachian Trail in Maryland. 5- and 10-mile hikers meet at Washington Monument State Park at noon and 10:00 a.m. respectively and are transported to their start points along the trail; 20-mile hikers meet at the Park and Ride at the intersection of Alternate Route 40 and State Route 67 just south of Boonsboro at 6:00 a.m. and are transported to their starting point in Harper’s Ferry, WV.  Everyone will hike north on the trail and finish at Washington Monument State Park for food and celebration. 


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House and Garden Tour June 13 to Benefit Smithsburg Tower Restoration Project

A tour of 8 historic homes and gardens and the Historical Society headquarters in the Smithsburg, MD,  area on June 13, 2015, will benefit restoration of the town hall tower to its historic 1890s appearance.  The tour includes perennial gardens, historic homes in the town, a former grist mill in Edgemont, and a unique carnivorous plant nursery.

Tickets ($15.00) and information are available on the day of the tour at the Smithsburg Historical Society, 20 E. Water Street.  Advance tickets are available in Smithsburg at Village Emporium, Dixie Eatery, Village Spirits, The Dry Cleaners, and First Impressions. 

Tickets are also available at the Historical Society.  For more information, see http://www.smithsburgtower.com  or call 301-824-3581 to contact a committee member.

Nestled along the mountains east of Hagerstown, the picturesque Smithsburg area boasts beautiful views of farms, orchards, and the nearby mountain topped by the Appalachian Trail.  There are gently curved rails where freight trains rumble thru the town and head up along the mountain toward the east.  Local schools, the town hall, and several shops and a restaurant are on a pleasant walk around the village.  Six of the properties on the tour are in this walking area near the Historical Society’s tiny headquarters, a masonry building dating from 1836. Then drive through orchards and along the railroad to the grist mill, now converted to a scenic and rustic retreat.  And then to the exotic plants in the greenhouse and bog garden at the Carnivorous Plant Nursery for another unusual gardening experience.


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Potomac Rover Artists Guild Fine Art Show and Sale

The Potomac River Artists Guild is celebrating fifteen years of “artistic comradery” with a two weekend show on July 10, 11, and 12 and July 17, 18 and 19 in the Shepherdstown Community Center located at German and King Streets in Shepherdstown, WV. The hours are Fridays, the 10th and 17th from 10:00 am - 8:00 pm, Saturdays, the 11th and 18th from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm and Sundays, the 12th and 19th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. On each Saturday, there will be an Open House from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm and is FREE and open to the public.

The “Guild” formed when several of the founding members were taking watercolor classes and formed a bond and friendship and decided to continue that friendship in a group dedicated to emerging artists providing a place to widen their artistic abilities as well as to display their work.

The Guild is made up of approximately 20 members, mostly from the Eastern Panhandle area. Our current artists paint in watercolor, oils, acrylics, pastels and other mediums.

For more information about the Guild or the Show, please visit our website at potomacriverartistsguild.org or contact Tom at 304.671.1669


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Save The Date: Shepherdstown’s 3rd Annual “Dogfest” Set For Aug. 15-16

The historic town of Shepherdstown, WV, will celebrate the Dog Days of Summer with its third annual “DogFest” the weekend of August 15-16.

The DogFest will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. It will include a wide variety of activities for dogs, their owners, dog lovers, and the general public. All activities will be free and everyone will be welcome.

New for this year will be a parade of rescue dogs on Saturday. This will be an opportunity for breed-specific rescue groups and area shelters to help educate the public about the needs of specific breeds and adoption and fostering options. Other highlights of Saturday’s schedule will include a local dog show open to dogs owned by both visitors and residents, and an end-of-the-day “Yappy Hour” for everyone at local bars and restaurants.

The main event Sunday will be a “Look and Learn” show of more than 20 heritage-breed dogs that are rarely seen outside of major dog shows. This was a very popular event last year. Breeds participating this year will include Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Bouvier De Flandres, Shiba Inu, and Puli. There will also be two sheepdog demonstrations on Sunday.

Both days will include blessings of the dogs; exhibits and demonstrations by trainers, rescue organizations, and others; and children’s activities.

Throughout the weekend, many restaurants and stores and will let dog owners bring their dogs inside. Many will also be offering special dog-themed food, drinks, and items for sale.

Pools and misters will be set up so dogs can stay cool in the August heat.

Watch the Shepherdstown Visitors Center website at http://www.shepherdstown.info for schedule details.

For more information, contact the Center’s Director, Jan Hafer, at 304-876-2786 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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St. Mark’s - Lappans to Host “Historic Heavenly Tea” and Silent Auction, Saturday, June 27, 2015

Boonsboro, MD – Historic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is hosting “Historic Heavenly Tea and Silent Auction” on Saturday, June 27 at 2:00pm. The tea will be catered by LJ’s Restaurant, and church members will be “hosting” tables by bringing in their own tea service china for place settings. Special piano music will be played by church musician, Daniel Weatherholt, during the tea portion of the event. After the tea, there will be a Silent Auction of various tea service pieces, such as teapots, etc. Cost of ticket is $22.00 per person; tickets are on sale at the church office 301-582-0417.  The deadline for purchasing tickets is June 24.  All in the community are welcome. Proceeds from the event will help support the church’s ministries.

“This is a very special, first time event for us, and we hope it will continue for years to come.  We will be using teas that can be made from herbs and plants that can be procured locally” said The Rev. Anne Weatherholt, rector of the church. Tours of the original church building, still in use, and historic cemetery will also be led by Emilie Amt, Professor of History at Hood College and St. Marks’ member.

Founded in 1849, this landmark church has served many generations in Washington County. Recent research by Dr. Amt uncovered a treasure trove of information about the church’s African American history, and in fact, there are slave graves in the church yard cemetery. Original church construction included a gallery at the back of the church specifically for use of the slaves of the eight founding members of the church. This gallery has been recently restored to the original furnishing style of the period.

Two historic markers are installed on the church grounds as one of the church’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission mission in 2014. The markers, co-sponsored with the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area include a Civil War Trails marker that is part of a large system of historic markers running from Tennessee to Pennsylvania.

St. Mark’s is included in the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) “African-American Heritage Guide,” which is used by visitors to discover the rich African-American history in Washington County. A copy of the guide may be ordered from the CVB or seen at: http://www.marylandmemories.org/african-american.shtml

St. Mark’s, a member of the CVB, is located at 18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD 21713.


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Maryland Symphony Orchestra Announces Schedule For 2015-2016 Season

Hagerstown, MD-The Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Elizabeth Schulze have announced the MSO’s 2015-2016 Season schedule.  All performances are held at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

The 34th Season officially gets underway on Saturday, September 19 with the return to Hagerstown of the Classical Mystery Tour’s Tribute to The Beatles.  This concert is an authentic Beatles concert experience with dozens of Beatles tunes performed by four vocalists and the MSO, exactly as they were originally recorded. “We really make an effort to sound exactly like the originals,” explains Jim Owen, who conceived the show and performs as John Lennon.  “The original score is exact, right down to every note and instrument that was on the original recording.”

The Masterworks Series begins on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 and will feature violinist Francisco Fullana performing as guest artist on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35.  The MSO will also perform Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43 written by Jean Sibelius.  http://www.franciscofullana.com

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner will be the guest artist when the MSO performs Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.  Also being performed by the MSO will be The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, Cindy McTee’s The Unquestioned Answer, and Death and Transfiguration by Richard Strauss.  http://www.saradavisbuechner.com

“Home for the Holidays,” the region’s favorite musical holiday tradition, will be held on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13.  This joyful celebration will feature Christmas classics (both secular and sacred) that audience members of all ages will enjoy.  Special guests will be announced at a later date.

The Masterworks Concerts continue on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 with semi-staged performances of Georges Bizet’s opera, Carmen.  This production is a joint effort of the MSO and the Hub Opera Ensemble.  http://www.huboperaensemble.com

On Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 the MSO will be performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 68 (Pastoral) and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto in A Minor for Oboe and Strings.  Guest artist will be the MSO’s principal oboist Fatma Daglar.

Acclaimed pianist (and a leading interpreter of the works of George Gershwin) Thomas Pandolfi will be performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the MSO on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10. The world premiere of a commissioned work by Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis, Dreamtime Ancestors, and Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World” Op. 95 will also be on the program. To learn more about Pandolfi check out http://www.thomaspandolfi.com

By popular demand, The Texas Tenors are coming back to the Maryland Theatre to perform with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra for one night only on Saturday, May 7.  This trio of classically trained singers performs a one-of-a-kind mix of Broadway, classical, country, and gospel music during their show.  You’ve seen them on “America’s Got Talent” and on their PBS special “The Texas Tenors: You Should Dream” and they are selling out multiple-night concerts at venues all over the United States.  Tickets for this special event will not go on sale until November.  VIP tickets will be available.  For more information on The Tenors go to http://www.thetexastenors.com

Single tickets and season subscriptions are on sale now for all concerts except The Texas Tenors. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased online, by phone, or in person at http://www.marylandsymphony.org, 301-797-4000, extension 101; or 30 W. Washington Street (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

First-time subscribers save 50% off the regular single ticket price when purchasing a subscription of 3, 4, or 5 Masterworks Concerts.  Subscribers receive a 15% discount for tickets to “The Beatles” and “The Texas Tenors” concerts.  No discounts are offered for the “Home for the Holidays” concerts.

All performances are held at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.  The Masterworks concerts on Saturday begin at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.  Special events concerts begin at 8 p.m. and “Home for the Holidays” begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.  Tickets for all students (K-12) and children under 18 are FREE for Masterworks concerts ONLY. The free student ticket initiative in generously underwritten by contributions from Susquehanna Bank and Music Director Elizabeth Schulze.  Artists and programs are subject to change without notice.

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze, who is celebrating her 17th season with the MSO, provides insights into the music, musicians, and composers during “Prelude,” which is held one hour prior to every Masterworks performance.  Guest artists are also scheduled to participate.  The half-hour talk is free to all ticket holders.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is the area’s premier professional orchestra, dedicated to providing musical performances that educate and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding area.


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Writers’ group participants publish books in multiple genres. Book signing scheduled for June 20

CHARLES TOWN - Six female writers, who comprise a group that has met weekly over the past decade to critique each other’s work, will be signing their published books from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 20 at Four Seasons Bookstore, 116 West German Street in Shepherdstown.
       
The writers are B.J. Appelgren, Tara Bell, Katherine Cobb, Millie Curtis, Ginny Fite and K.P. Robbins. Their books cover a wide range of genres, including historical fiction, memoir, young adult and short story collections.
       
Appelgren, a licensed social worker and writer, authored two memoirs describing very different times in her life. Sunny Side Uptakes place in the early 1970s on an experimental course atJ.G. Bennett’s Sherborne, an English manor house for consciousness studies. The reader doesn’t just observe her inner journey, but comes along for the remarkable ride.In The Transparent Feather, Appelgren is introduced to Berry Morgan, Jefferson County’s award-winning author of short stories published in The New Yorker. As they each work on their writing, they quietly share an intimate meeting with the infinite, both knowing that Berry is dying. Appelgren resides in Charles Town. (http://www.healingartsreport.com)
Bell was born in La Jolla, Calif., but lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. The setting for her middle-reader book, The Shell Ghost of San Cristobal, is based there. “I have dreamed of the island ever since I left there over 40 years ago. Its wonder has been a good part of my life. In my novel, I tell a tale about a Puerto Rican girl, Nina, and her cousin, Rique, who find the truth behind the ghost adorned with sea shell necklaces.” Bell, a resident of Charles Town, is currently at work on another middle grade novel.
       
Cobb is a contributor for numerous publications throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Her award winning editorial column, “It Is What It Is,” for The Journal won first place for Best Lifestyle Columnist by the West Virginia Press Association. She has also earned other writing awards from the WVPA in her career. Her short stories have been published in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and The Grapevine. Her debut novel, Skyline Higher, takes Cobb back to her California roots, where she was born and raised. The setting is the high school she attended - Skyline High in Oakland in 1978. The realistic coming-of-age story is told through the eyes of 14-year-old Anna Trapani, whose youthful innocence collides with complicated and sometimes harrowing situations. Although appropriate for high school-aged young adults, all ages will identify with the feelings from these tumultuous years. Cobb holds a degree from San Jose State University and resides in Charles Town. She is currently working on a memoir and second novel. (http://www.katherinecobb.com)
       
Curtis, a native of Oneida, N.Y., has made her home in Clarke County, Va., since 1975. After a career in nursing and raising a large family, she finally found time for her true love of writing. Her novels are set in the early 1900s when life moved at a slower pace, manners were important, and automobiles were a novelty. In her four-book series, Curtis blends local flavor and endearing characters together in tales that capture the heart. In Beyond the Red Gate, adventuresome Carolyn, a recent graduate nurse, finds the opportunity to gain her independence. In The Milliner, the practical Catherine reunites with her friend Carolyn. In The Newcomer, young and unprepared Elizabeth arrives in Berryville, Va., as a newcomer and forges ahead to regain what is rightfully hers. In the fourth book, Window of Hope, the characters from the trilogy form a united front as they mount obstacles thrown in their path when their men go off to Europe to fight in WWI. Curtis is currently at work on a fifth novel.
       
Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art and all things human. She has been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. She has degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. She is the author of I Should Be Dead by Now, a collection of humorous lamentations about aging; three books of poetry, The Last Thousand Years, The Pearl Fisher, Throwing Caution; and a short story collection, What Goes Around. Folly, a Sam Lagarde mystery/thriller set in Charles Town, is her first novel and will be published in 2015 by Black Opal Books. She resides in Harpers Ferry. (http://ginnyfite.com)
       
Robbins is the author of The Stonehenge Scrolls, a compelling story of how the famous stone circle came to be. Her short stories have been published online on WashingtonPost.com and Fluent Magazine and in print in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and Seven Hills Review. Her second novel, PMS: The Power & Money Sisters, will be published later this year.A graduate of West Virginia University, she currently lives in Virginia where she is at work on a new novel. (http://www.thestonehengescrolls.com)

“It’s amazing that all of us succeeded in getting our work published,” said Bell of the writer’s group that’s persevered so long. “I don’t think that would have happened without the support we’ve provided each other through the ups and downs of the creative process.”


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Shepherdstown Handmade Market and Summer Solstice Market

Shepherdstown Handmade Market and Summer Solstice Celebration

June is going to be a busy month with the return of the Shepherdstown Community Club’s 1st Weekend Handmade Market and the Solstice Celebration Market at the War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St. in Shepherdstown.  First, local and regional artists, artisans and crafters will come together June 6th - 7th to sell their quality handmade creations.  The Handmade Market is open Saturday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. There is always free admission.

The featured creative sellers for this weekend’s Handmade Market are: Happy Cat Glass (stained glass panels, suncatchers, ornaments), Legend Mountain (soft sculpture, handsewn and painted folk art), Creations by Tigerlily (car seat blankets, hats and accessories, hummingbird feeders), Glassworks by Nonie (stained glass panels, candleholders, cardholders), Toni Kay Dye (wildlife art and feather paintings), Michael Dye (hand-carved wizard wands and figurines), Nature’s Inspirations (statement jewelry made with fair-trade components) and Creative Art and Soul (dog leash holders, wall plaques, and pendants). 

Next, save the date and join us Saturday, June 13th - 14th for a spirited Shepherdstown Summer Solstice Celebration Market, a psychic, holistic wellness, spiritual development and handmade market all in one!  You’ll find polarity energy healing, touch therapy, aura and chakra photography and analysis, hypnotic chakra clearing, oracle and tarot card readings, relaxation with sound and stones, nature-based mandala art, jewelry and handmade items. 

The Handmade Market and Solstice Celebration Market are sponsored by the Shepherdstown Community Club.  Monies collected from sellers’ space fees go towards the maintenance and operation of the historic War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove park.  For more information about both markets, follow us at http://facebook.com/SCCHandmadeMarket.

 


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June Events at Jala Yoga

Winchester, VA—Jala Yoga, the vibrant yoga studio with locations in Winchester, VA, Shepherdstown, WV, and Charles Town, WV, has announced its June events, which focus on developing core power, discovering ones heart chakra, and learning more about becoming a yoga teacher. Registration can be done online at jalayogaflow.com or by phone at 401-440-0279.

Yoga instructor Allie Nasteff offers “Anatomy of the Heart Chakra” on Sunday, June 15, 1:30-3:00 pm.  The workshop takes place at the Winchester studio, Creekside Station, 3119 Valley Avenue, Unit 110.  This workshop offers an exploration of the physical and spiritual anatomy of the heart through a physical yoga practice, an overview of the circulatory system, and an explanation of the heart chakra, along with specific breathwork to develop awareness of the heart chakra.  Appropriate for all levels, the workshop costs $15, with a 10% discount through June 8.

On Saturday, June 20, from 5:30-7:30 pm, Renea Moran teaches a “Core Power Workshop” at the Shepherdstown studio, 117 West German Street.  Students will learn how to strengthen their core muscles through breathwork and specific postures.  The cost is $25 with a 15% discount through June 14.

On Saturday, June 6, from 2-3 pm, Jala Yoga Owner Christa Mastrangelo Joyce hosts a free information session about the Summer Intensive Teacher Training program that is taking place July 13-August 6 at the Winchester studio.  Christa will explain the format of the training and answer questions.  A special discount is available on June 6 only for those who register for the training that day.

For more information about any of Jala Yoga’s offerings, including its regular seven-day-a-week schedule and its summer unlimited class pass, call 401-440-0279 or visit http://www.jalayogaflow.com.

PHOTO: Jala Yoga Owner Christa Mastrangelo Joyce (credit: Pang Tubhirun)


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Yoga Camp in Winchester this July

Winchester, VA—Jala Yoga at Creekside Station, 3119 Valley Avenue in Winchester, is having its first ever Yoga Camp from July 6-10, from 2-4 pm everyday.  “Magnificent ME” is for kids ages 7-12, who will practice yoga and explore their creative sides with instructor Jennifer Turman-Bayliss.  No ordinary camp, Magnificent ME will encourage kids to explore the magnificent person they were created to be.  Along with yoga, youngsters will learn about the meaning of their special birth date, dance, play music, and create their own dream board.

The cost for the 5-day camp is $100, with a 10% discount for those who register by July 1.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.jalayogaflow.com or call 401-440-0279.


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Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: 19th Century Techniques for 21st Century Bakers

Learn to make your daily bread… in a bee hive oven, in this historic trades baking workshop! On Saturday, June 13, 2014, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will offer a two and a half hour workshop giving participants the opportunity to bake and eat leaven rolls or “street corner food,” large soft pretzels, in a large masonry “beehive oven.” A workshop fee of $15.00 for adult participants covers instruction, techniques in beehive oven baking, and bread ingredients. Visit the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park website for information about registering for this workshop. Pre-registration closes on June 6, 2015.

In the early 19th century, local flour production and fresh bread on the table of Harpers Ferry residents proved that the town was no longer the frontier, but a part of civilized society. Local bakers and confectioners, like German immigrant Frederick Roeder, helped to feed the growing industrial town.

In 1809, Harpers Ferry boating merchant John Wager, Jr., began a flour shipping business from Harpers Ferry mills into the federal capital 60 miles away, contributing to this region’s reputation during the early republic as the breadbasket, supplying larger cities with local grain and flour. At its height, 20,000 barrels of flour were staged along the Shenandoah for shipping down the river. In local businesses like Roeder’s Confectionery, Frederick Roeder and his wife Ann could track their flour consumption out of the family flour barrel of hard and soft wheat, today’s equivalent of “all-purpose flour.” From nineteenth century statistics, the average baker could yield quite an array of baked goods each month from their flour barrel: “34 loaves of bread, 17 6-quart pans of doughnuts, 17 messes of biscuits, 94 pies, 7 loaf cakes, 1 ½ dozen tart crusts, 3 dozen gingersnaps, and one mess of pancakes.”

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/9qbAak


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Elle’s Niche Handmade Boutique Opening downtown Charles Town June 1

A one of a kind retail experience is coming to downtown Charles Town Summer 2015. Elle’s Niche, opening June 1 at 103 West Liberty St. Charles Town WV, offers its customers a place to purchase local handmade items direct from the artists and crafters who create them.

Elle’s Niche is a retail boutique offering each person that steps through the door a lovely collection of functional art and high quality handmade products made by local artisans and used for everyday living. A bit of vintage, a bit of modern, mixed with the abundant talents of area artist and crafters including soap-makers, seamstresses, jewelry makers, sign-makers, painters, fiber and clay artists, as well as those who upcycle furniture and repurpose antiques and primitive items.

Elle’s Niche offers our customers the unique ability to connect with its community of creative people and purchase one of kind items that are both beautiful and functional. The boutique offers in house gift wrapping, personal shopping, and gift baskets. After hours special events and surprises including craft classes for ages 8 to 80 as well as regular ladies night and teen activities.

“It has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to have my own little unique shop.  The fact that now I get to help other artists and crafters like myself is a huge bonus and why I was motivated to open the store. I hope my efforts and the support of customers and a community of artisans become a continuing part of making Charles Town the great place it is to live and work.  We are the place to come if you are looking for high quality unique items.  We offer handmade items only, no mass production, ever.” says owner and seamstress Lori Slattery (“Elle”).

A soft opening is planned for Monday, June 1 with a grand opening scheduled for June 18th, along with the city’s Third Thursday activities and will continue through the weekend. “Come see the new shop and all our beautiful products, meet the artists that make them, enjoy some refreshments by OutlanDelish Cafe, perhaps get a free facial by Michelle of Wild Rose Soap Company. Jaso with Inner Health will also be here for seated or hand massages”.

Elle’s is still accepting high quality handmade vendors. Any interested parties should call or email Lori at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

https://www.facebook.com/elles.niche
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http://www.ellesniche.com/
Elle’s Niche
103 West Liberty St
Charles Town WV 25413
681-252-0302


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Hagerstown Suns to recognize history and culture of baseball in Washington County

Hagerstown, MD - Washington County has produced its fair share of major league baseball players and the Hagerstown Suns will honor them this season before the June 20th game versus Delmarva at Municipal Stadium as part of “Washington County Baseball Heritage Night.” The night is being held in conjunction with the Suns 35th Anniversary celebration.

Players born in Washington County who made it all the way to the big leagues include John Wilson (1913), Ike Powers (1927-1928), “Boots” Poffenberger (1937-1939), Vic Barnhart (1944-1946), Dave Cole (1950-1955), Leo Burke (1958-1965), Mike Draper (1993) and Nick Adenhart (2008-2009).

“For a relatively small county like this to produce eight major leaguers is remarkable, and it demonstrates the passion that area residents have for the game,” said Chris Easom, General Manager of the Suns.

Two other Washington County natives will also be honored. Mickey Billmeyer, a major league coach will be recognized as will Clyde Barhnhart, who was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but was a long-time county resident. He was also the father of Vic Barnhart.

The former players or their families will be represented on the field before the game.

A book signing will also take place that date which will include local authors Bob Savitt (The Blue Ridge League) and Austin Gisriel (Boots Poffenberger: Hurler, Hero, Hell-Raiser), as well as David B. Stinson, whose book Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel prominently features Municipal Stadium.

In addition, a baseball card poster featuring many former Suns players will be given out to the first 1,000 fans in attendance.

The Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has formed a Suns 35th Anniversary committee and has assisted in organizing this night. The committee is very interested to know if there are any Washington County big-leaguers who have been missed. To date, the committee has been unable to locate any relatives of John Wilson, the first big-leaguer from the county who hailed from Boonsboro and appeared in three games for the Senators. Wilson died in 1954 and is buried in Annapolis, MD. If you have relevant information, please contact the CVB at 301-739-3246.

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ROCS Convenience Stores to Host Grand Opening for New Store

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - ROCS Convenience Stores invites the community to attend a grand opening and ribbon-cutting event at the new ROCS Mountaineer Mart store on W.Va. Route 9 and Kelly Island Road in Martinsburg from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29. Customers will enjoy free samples of the store’s new food menu offerings like fresh, made-to-order subs as well as free coffee and fountain drinks all day. The store also will be giving away free f’real milkshakes from 4 to 5 p.m. and raffling off gift cards and other prizes throughout the day.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. Steve Roach, president and CEO of R.M. Roach & Sons Inc., the parent company of ROCS Convenience Stores, will give a brief speech and present donations to Hospice of the Panhandle and the Martinsburg branch of the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. “One of the four pillars of our company is giving back to the community,” Roach said. “These are just two of the nonprofit agencies we’ve participated with heavily over the years, and we want to keep supporting them.”

Local radio stations 101.5 Bob Rocks and New Country B105 will be broadcasting live on site and handing out prizes during the grand opening event. Bob Rocks will broadcast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by New Country B105 from 12 to 2 p.m. Local DJ Mr. Extravaganza will round out the event by playing music and announcing additional giveaways from 2 to 5 p.m.

The new ROCS Mountaineer Mart, which opened in early April, is located behind the former store location in a warehouse the company completely renovated and upgraded to house it. The store features high ceilings, a spacious layout, and an airport-style dining area as well as a new color scheme and signage. The changes are all part of the company’s rebranding initiative. “This is the kickoff for the new look of our ROCS stores,” said Bethany Allen-Perez, creative director of branding and marketing for R.M. Roach & Sons. “We’ll be expanding to other locations down the line.”

The ROCS Convenience Stores brand is getting a new name to go with its new look. The new ROCS brand will be known as ROCS Local Market. The change reflects the company’s focus on offering a wider variety of high-quality products. “We’ve expanded our offerings to more than just your basic convenience store,” Roach said. “We’ve added a small grocery section, so we have just about everything you could ever need to help reduce time spent in long lines and long aisles at the grocery store.”

ROCS also has significantly expanded its food offerings. “We’ve redone our whole menu with really fresh, high-quality food items and tried to cut down on the processed stuff as much as possible,” said Jason Roach, director of operations for R.M. Roach & Sons. “We’re now baking our own bread, slicing our own deli meats, breading and frying our own chicken, and frying our own eggs for breakfast sandwiches.”

Customers at ROCS Mountaineer Mart can enjoy new food items like made-to-order subs, fried chicken and wings, and homestyle side dishes plus fresh fruit smoothies and custom coffee drinks including iced coffees, lattes and cappuccinos. “Our goal is to meet our customers’ needs, whatever they may be, and make them happy and treat them well,” Jason Roach said. Some of these new offerings also are available at the ROCS store on Shepherdstown Road in Martinsburg.

The new ROCS concept was designed with customer satisfaction in mind, and listening to feedback from customers is an important part of the company’s rebranding strategy. “We encourage everyone to come check out our new store and tell us what you think,” Steve Roach said. “And things continue to evolve for ROCS, so look for bigger and better things to come.”

ROCS Mountaineer Mart is located at 39 Kelly Island Road in Martinsburg. Learn more about ROCS stores at http://www.rocsstores.com.

About ROCS Convenience Stores
ROCS Convenience Stores is a family owned and operated business. With a chain of 15 stores located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and Maryland, ROCS Convenience Stores is determined to be the very best in the industry. The company’s main focus is on its customers and offering them the freshest products, the friendliest store associates and the fastest service every day. To learn more about ROCS Convenience Stores, visit http://www.rocsstores.com.


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What’s NXT Bringing Giant Water Slide To Downtown Hagerstown

Hagerstown, MD - What’s NXT announces plans to host the first annual Downtown Summer Slide Festival on August 29, 2015 featuring an 825-foot water slide to be constructed on West Washington Street from Prospect Street to University Plaza.  The festival will run from 11:00am to 4:00pm and include live music, a beer garden, food trucks and kid’s activities.

“What’s NXT is always on the lookout for fun and exciting ways for the community to come together, and we wanted another big downtown event in the summer to compliment the Krumpe’s Donut Drop, that kicks off each new year,“ says Melissa Fountain, Director of Events for What’s NXT.  “We see this as another way to strengthen our community and bring awareness to the downtown area.”
General admission is free for the street activities.

Slide tickets may be purchased in advance at http://www.whatsnxt.com.  Tickets will go on sale in June as logistics are finalized with the City of Hagerstown.  VIP tickets will be available for the first hour and include an event t-shirt.  Early-bird specials for both slide packages will be announced when tickets go on sale.

What’s NXT has partnered with local businesses and organizations to provide a beer garden inside University Plaza.  Guests may pay to gain entrance into the beer garden, which includes live music, a souvenir cup and your first beer.  Advance tickets are also available in June at whatsnxt.com.  The band schedule will be announced later this summer.

“What’s NXT continues to generate creative fun to support the growth of downtown Hagerstown and locally-owned businesses.  A limited number of vendor spaces and sponsorships are available.  As with the Krumpe’s Donut Drop, downtown businesses and local non-profits may participate in the Downtown Summer Slide Festival at no charge,” adds Fountain.
To inquire about vendor space and sponsorship opportunities, contact Melissa Fountain at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 240-347-0465, ext. 151.

What’s NXT launched in January 2013 from the founders of High Rock and is located in City Center of Downtown Hagerstown.  For more information, visit whatsnxt.com.


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Dewey McDonald Foundation Partners with the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle

Charles Town, WV - The Dewey McDonald Foundation will host their Inaugural Chip in for Charity Golf Tournament—June 19, 2015—at Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. The proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle.  Club Alumni, Dewey McDonald is an American football safety for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. Dewey began the Dewey Foundation with the mission of improving recreational facilities and opportunities for youth in the Eastern Panhandle specifically The Boys & Girls Club and Jefferson County Parks and Recreation.

Registration is at 8:00 am, with a tee time start at 9:00 am. The cost for individual players is $75. Foursomes are $275. Pre-registration ends June 12, 2015. Corporate sponsorships are available. The entry form can be downloaded from website at http://www.deweymcdonaldfoundation.org. Call the Dewey Foundation at (540) 931-4990 or the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle at (304) 263-1832 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We believe that every child needs a safe place to learn and grow. Every day at the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle, a child receives a hot meal, homework help, recreational opportunities, and a caring adult mentor to offer them encouragement. We open the door to the young people in our community during the most vulnerable hours of the day.

Every day, over 300 young people walk through our doors. Over 1,400 registered members attend throughout the year. There are clubs in all three counties in the Eastern Panhandle. Our members have gone on to become business professionals, community leaders, and professional athletes. They all started as a young person who needed a place to belong, a helping hand. It is only through your support that we can be that safe place.

The Dewey McDonald Foundation, founded in September 2014 by Jefferson County native, Dewey McDonald, places emphasis on several areas that will help Jefferson County youth have more recreational opportunities and improved recreational facilities. The Foundation hopes to provide a source of funding dedicated to improving recreational and school sports facilities, founding a new flag football league and promoting the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle, Jefferson County Unit.


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Rare Washington County Home & Garden Tour

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Washington County is the focus of the annual Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) on Saturday, May 30, 10am-5pm (rain or shine). A longstanding Maryland tradition, the Pilgrimage provides access to some of Maryland’s most noteworthy private properties and enables residents to see their home state with fresh eyes. There are seven homes on the tour, six in Hagerstown and one in nearby Williamsport. Advance tickets for the tour are $30 per person ($35 if purchasing day-of). Catered lunches will be available. Purchase tickets and get more information at mhgp.org or 410-821-6933.

County Co-chairs Linda Hood, Denise Pennington, and Laura Zimmerman welcome the pilgrims.  Zimmerman said “We look forward to introducing guests to the rich heritage of Washington County, and to providing special access to historic sites like Doub’s Mill and lovely private homes like Rose Hill Manor.” Every year, proceeds from the tour support designated preservation projects in each host community. Funds from the Washington County pilgrimage will go towards the establishment of a Preservation Maryland Western Maryland Field Agent to assist in the identification and preservation of historic sites.

Mills were the engines of economy in the 18th century, and two of the standout properties on this tour exemplify this fact (there are seven stops in total). The colossal columns of Valentia overlook Antietam Creek and its panoply of original outbuildings (the miller’s house, barn, meat house, dairy house, slave house, and 1840 bridge). All buildings, constructed of native limestone, still stand as a reminder of what was once the largest grain producer in the region.

Built in 1762, Old Forge Farm is the oldest dated house in Washington County. At one time, this iron plantation spanned 17,000 acres and a village grew to support the industry. The current owners bought the property in 1986 and have slowly restored the house. Today, the farm is home to free-range chickens, guineas, heritage turkeys and other fowl. Come walk the grounds and observe their herd of Barbados Blackbelly Sheep.

The 2015 tour includes 44 private homes, gardens, farms, wineries, churches and historic sites in five counties. The annual spring tours are a central component of MHGP’s efforts to cultivate awareness of Maryland’s rich architectural and cultural heritage. To date, the Pilgrimage has raised more than $1 million for the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties throughout the State of Maryland while entertaining and educating thousands of attendees.

“We eagerly look forward to a beautiful spring day spent exploring the gardens and landmarks of

Washington County” said Meredith Boren, Chairman, Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage. “Since 1937, our group has dedicated itself to preserving and lauding our heritage and this year we have an extraordinary schedule of sites. Guests on the Washington County Pilgrimage will enjoy the tour of Rose Hill Manor sitting on 200 acres with its handcrafted 1802 woodwork.”

To identify a county chair or for specific county tour details, please contact Kathy Smith, MHGP Executive Director, at 410-821-6933. For more information, tour details and tickets, please visit http://www.mhgp.org or call 410-821-6933, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., or send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties in the State of Maryland. The Pilgrimage has remained constant with this purpose since its formation in 1937. It is the only statewide house and garden tour organization and the oldest tour in the State of Maryland, raising and distributing well over $1 million dollars in its 78-year history to support preservation projects in each host community.

Photo: The Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage tour in Washington County is Saturday, May 30.  Rose Hill Manor in Williamsport is the first stop on the tour of seven properties.  The home, built around 1800, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo Credit:  Jane Hershey


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Call for Artists: “Summer Bloom” at the Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Arts Council announces “Summer Bloom”, a juried exhibit of art reflecting the beauty and color of summer. All 2-dimensional work framed up to 36 inches in the long dimension, including but not limited to painting, photography, and mixed media is eligible. Small 3-dimensional works that will display on a 1 foot square pedestal will be considered. The exhibit will be displayed from June 24 - July 19, 2015 in the “Back Space” at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

To enter, send an email with “Summer Bloom” in the subject line to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your name, contact information and digital images of up to three works for consideration. There is no entry fee. Accepted artists will be asked to make a donation to support the gallery at the time work is delivered.

The deadline for submissions is June 14. Jurying will be done by a committee of Berkeley Art Works co-op artists by June 17 and work is to be delivered to the gallery between June 18 and June 21. For more information email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) call 304-620-7277.

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.


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Friends of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum Presents its 4th Annual Chocolate Garden Tea and Lunch

Hagerstown, MD - The Doleman Black Heritage Museum, Inc. (DBHM) is 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization celebrating its fourth annual Chocolate Garden Tea. Theme: History through Fashion – Character Fashion Show spring fundraiser. This year our Master of Ceremonies will be members of the Friends of DBHM.

This event is a combination of history lesson, dramatic characterizations, and fashion show. First introduced by the Friends of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum in the fall of 2010 and is the museums unique way of teaching its audience about the outstanding contributions, lifestyles, and experiences of notable African-American men and women throughout American history.  Each model will take on the persona of a character from our past while infusing a bit of them self into the character. They will mix and mingle with the attendees, engaging them in conversation, questions, and fun without revealing the identity of their character.  Our models are a wonderful reflection of students from Smithsburg and South High Schools, drama class, and members of the community portraying and honoring African-American legendary greats, Hattie McDaniel, Ann Cole Lowe, Josephine Baker, Lucy Terry Prince, Angelia Davis,  and Shirley Chisholm.

Along with the raffles and door prizes this year the museum is adding a hat contest. The best hat from several categories will win a special gift. So, grab your family, friends, and loved ones and come out ready to enjoy a wonderful day of fun for a great cause.

Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015
Location: Applause Caterers - 58 E. Washington Street - Hagerstown, MD. 21740  
Time: 3PM - Doors open at 2pm
Ticket Price: $25 per person and can be purchased at the door or reserved through any board member or Friend of DBHM.
Should you be interested in making a donation to the museum please contact Alesia Parson-McBean through email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or at 301.797.5019


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Antietam National Battlefield to Host Civil War Day Camps

Antietam National Battlefield will sponsor two Civil War Day Camps this summer. The camps will include hikes, interactive educational programs, and hands-on activities led by park rangers and volunteers.

The two-day camp for children entering grades 3-5 will be held on July 9-10, 2015. The 2- day camp for children entering grades 6-8 will be held on July 16-17, 2015.

The Civil War Day Camps are free; but reservations are required and space is limited to the first 25 participants. Reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. To sign-up or for more information please call Park Ranger Christie Stanczak or Education Intern Mark Chaney at 301-432- 5124. You may also email Ranger Stanczak at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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GeoWoodstock XIII Planned for Washington County

Hagerstown, MD - The Maryland Geocaching Society will be hosting the premiere geocaching event of the year in Washington County on May 22-25, 2015 at the Washington County Agriculture Education Center in Boonsboro. The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Hagerstown have been working with the Maryland Geocaching Society, the hosting club for the event, providing planning assistance for the approximately 5,000 geocache enthusiasts who are expected to attend.

Premiere Event for Geocachers is largest of its kind in North America, To be held at the Washington County Agriculture Education Center, May 22-25, 2015


GeoWoodstock provides a meet and greet opportunity for “cachers” who come from around the world. There will be a appearances by legends of the Geocaching community and it is the single largest assembly of Geocaching vendors. Each year, GeoWoodstock is held in a new geographic region and is hosted by the local clubs, giving geocachers the chance to explore and make new friends. Attendees can participate in many fun activities, seminars and learning sessions, visit with exhibitors/vendors, tour the area, and much more.

The Washington County GeoTrail was developed and launched in 2013, by local members of the Maryland Geocaching Society, in anticipation of this event. While here, cachers will have the opportunity to explore it and simultaneously visit many of our attractions and towns.  Of special note is a new City Park Geo Trail will we be launched at a special kickoff event, scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 22, 2015, from 1:00 P.M. through 5:00 P.M. The City Park Trail was also developed by the same team that developed the County GeoTrail.

“Attendees will love caching in Hagerstown and Washington County,” said Dwight Wingert, Steering Committee Member of the GeoWoodstock XII Planning Team.  He continued, “They will have the opportunity to visit many of the county’s beautiful historic sites, and to visit the quaint towns as they geocache along either of the two new trails.”

“We are thrilled to host this special event in Washington County. The number of attendees is impressive and the new geocaching opportunities are abundant.  Also impressive is that geocaching enthusiasts will be able to return to complete and/or begin their exploration of the new trails.  This is an attraction that will continue to bring visitors for years to come. The economic impact of this weekend alone is estimated to be approximately $1.68 million dollars,” said Dan Spedden, President of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

More details and a complete schedule of events can be found on the event’s website: http://www.geowoodstock.com/gws13/index.html

About the Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about Hagerstown-Washington County see:www.marylandmemories.com.

About Geocaching
Geocaching, pronounced “geo-cashing,” is a worldwide phenomenon, in which participants use a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) to plot map coordinates in order to locate a hidden treasure or “cache.” Searching for a cache is akin to going on a treasure hunt and can involve clues, riddles and visits to multiple locations. Shovels are a forbidden tool – caches are never buried.  Geocaching is a game that offers something for everyone!

To join the adventure, a geocacher must access the official geocache website at http://www.Geocaching.com to set up an account. A basic membership is free. Once an account is established, the geocacher can use the advance search function to locate geocaches, retrieve the map coordinates, and see the cache details for each geocache. Included with the information for each cache location is a description of the site and details on the type of hide.  The next step is to head outside with a GPS or GPS enabled device (smart phone) to find geocaches.

About the Maryland Geocaching Society
Founded in the fall of 2002, the Maryland Geocaching Society (MGS) was among the first groups to organize around the adventure and passion of geocaching. The MGS has been a nationwide leader in geocaching by creating innovative geocaching activities including GeoTours and GeoTrails, partnering with educational and youth groups, local and Federal government agencies, and tourism offices, to educate and incorporate geocaching as a fun learning activity.  Over the past thirteen years, the Society has welcomed nearly 5,300 members to its website and sponsored multiple state-wide activities, including “Cache in Trash Out” programs to assist in the maintenance of parks and trail systems. The MGS promotes geocaching as exciting, earth-friendly and adventurous outdoor recreation for the whole family.  Visit http://www.mdgps.org.

About Washington County and the Agricultural Center
Washington County Maryland and the Washington County Agricultural Education Center in Boonsboro, cordially welcomes geocachers and all interested participants to attend this exciting event!

Washington County is full of rich history and the area is a gateway to many colonial and Civil War heritage sites. South Mountain State Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park, Washington Monument State Park, Fort Frederick and The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park are just a few of the many treasures to experience while in the area. The county is located in the Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail traverses the eastern boundary of the county.  Nearby historic Boonsboro and Hagerstown are just a few minutes away, and both Baltimore and Washington D.C. are just an hour and a half drive.  With one foot in the north, and one foot in the south, the story of the Civil War, its’ causes, battles, heroes, villains, essence and impact, can be told nowhere better than in this part of Maryland.


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Summer Career Academy at James Rumsey Technical Institute

Enjoy 3 days of fun exploring career choices, all for free!

What is the Summer Career Academy?
It is a three-day career exploratory program sponsored by James Rumsey Technical Institute. Activities will include an opportunity to experience hands-on workshops of the six (6) Major Career Clusters during this three day academy. It will assist students in development of career planning, heighten awareness of educational and personal qualities needed for employment, and increase awareness of transitioning requirements from high school to postsecondary education or careers.

Who is eligible?
All rising 9th and 10th grade high school students from the tri-county area (Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties) are eligible. Participation is limited to a maximum of 135 students. Participants are selected on a “first come - first serve” basis.

When is the Summer Career Academy?
The Career Academy will be held for three (3) days on June 16, 17, and 18, 2015. The hours are from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. daily.

Where is the Summer Career Academy?
Students will be transported by school bus, from designated locations in their home counties each day, and taken to James Rumsey Technical Institute. Activities will be hosted at James Rumsey Technical Institute.

How much does this academy cost?
The Summer Career Academy is FREE. Students will need to bring a bagged lunch.

Tentative County Pick-Up Locations:*
Jefferson County: Harpers Ferry Middle School, Charles Town Middle School, Shepherdstown Middle School, and Jefferson High School.
Morgan County: (Tentative) Paw Paw High School, McCumbee Trailer Court, and Pleasant View Elementary School.
Berkeley County: Musselman High School, Martinsburg High School, North Middle School, and Spring Mills High School.
*Pick-up locations may change pending student enrollment.

Application due May 30, 2015

Name: ______________________________________________________________________ Sex: Male/Female
Address: __________________________________________City:_________________________State:_____ Zip: _________
Parent Signature: __________________________________________ Phone: __________________________
What school will you be attending in August 2015? ___________________What grade in August 2015? _________
Medical Conditions and/or medications taken daily: _________________________________________________________

*Medication form available if medication must be administered by a certified adult.



Please return application by May 30, 2015 to:

Donna Van Metre - Summer Career Academy Director
James Rumsey Technical Institute
3274 Hedgesville Road
Martinsburg, WV 25403-0259
Fax: 304-754-7933
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Call for Artists: “Life in the Wild” Juried Exhibit of Wildlife Art

The Berkeley Arts Council announces “Life in the Wild”, a juried wildlife art exhibit to celebrate the beauty and diversity of life in the natural world. The exhibition is open to visual artists over the age of 18 in all media including but not limited to painting, sculpture, carving, ceramics, photography or mixed media. The juror for the exhibit is Susan T. Fisher, Artist and Art Educator.

For the prospectus and online registration, visit http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/wildlife/. The deadline for submissions is July 20, 2015.

The exhibit will be on display from September 3-October 4, 2015 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

For more information email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 304-620-7277.

The Berkeley Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non‐profit organization incorporated in West Virginia working to ensure that Berkeley County has a vibrant, vital arts environment by promoting awareness, understanding and appreciation of the literary, visual and performing arts in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.


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West Virginia Supreme Court Decision Could Permit Criminals To Profit From Their Illegal Actions

Charleston, W.Va. – In separate strongly worded dissents, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia Justices Menis Ketchum and Allen Loughry claim a recent decision by fellow justices on the high court will encourage criminals to file lawsuits that may result in making a “mockery” of West Virginia’s judicial system.

On May 13th, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued its decision in Tug Valley Pharmacy, LLC, et al v. All Plaintiffs Below. The decision answered the question of whether twenty-nine plaintiffs, who have admitted to drug related crimes, could file lawsuits against pharmacies and medical centers claiming that they contributed to the plaintiffs’ addictions to controlled substances. Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Brent Benjamin, and Justice Robin Jean Davis ruled that the lawsuits can move forward, opening up the possibility of more lawsuits of this nature.

Majority decision “ignores common sense” and encourages more lawsuits

“It’s unfortunate that a majority on the Supreme Court of Appeals decided to enable criminals and their attorneys to profit from illegal behavior. We agree with Justices Ketchum and Loughry that the court should have adopted the wrongful conduct rule that would prevent these types of abusive lawsuits,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA).

In his dissent, Justice Ketchum wrote “The majority’s ruling permitting criminal plaintiff’s to maintain these civil lawsuits ignores common sense and will encourage other criminals to file similar lawsuits in an attempt to profit from their criminal behavior.”

Joining Ketchum in dissenting to the majority’s opinion was Justice Allen Loughry, who said, “In a state where drug abuse is so prevalent and where its devastating effects are routinely seen in cases brought before this Court, it is simply unconscionable to me that the majority would permit admitted criminal drug abusers to manipulate our justice system to obtain monetary damages to further fund their abuse and addiction.”

Stauffer concluded, “We strongly applauded the actions that our legislature took to minimalize abusive lawsuits earlier this year. It appears the Supreme Court has just taken West Virginia a step backwards. Next year there will be a race for one seat on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. West Virginians should take the time to learn about Court decisions like this one and decide if the judicial philosophy of those on the court reflects their own views.”


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Under Fire: Hold the High Ground! at Harpers Ferry NHP

Saturday and Sunday, May 30th and 31st, visitors are invited to witness the power of field artillery that defended the Union garrison during the Siege of 1862. Living History staff and volunteers will present artillery demonstrations at 1, 2, and 3 p.m., on the battle which led to General Stonewall Jackson’s capture of 12,500 Federal soldiers. A military camp will be open for visitation on the Bolivar Heights Battlefield from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Shuttles from the Visitor Center at Cavalier Heights to the Bolivar Heights Battlefield will be provided.

“We are surrounded by enemy batteries,” wrote a Union officer garrisoned at Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862. On that day, the 12,500-man Union garrison surrendered to Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. This military action at Harpers Ferry was the largest surrender of Union troops during the American Civil War. Following the surrender of Federal troops, Jackson’s men marched northward to join Confederate General Robert E. Lee near Sharpsburg, Maryland, arriving in time to save Lee’s flank from annihilation during the Battle of Antietam.


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NPS Seeks Public Comments on Invasive Plant Management Plan for 15 National Capital Region Parks

Washington – The National Park Service (NPS) is accepting public scoping comments on an Invasive Plant Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) for 15 national parks in the greater Washington DC region. The plan/EA will identify long-term strategies to reduce impacts and threats from invasive plants, and will provide opportunities for restoring native plant communities and historic landscapes. Comments are being accepted through June 10, 2015 and can be submitted online.

Scoping is the first phase in developing the plan. These comments will provide the NPS with the public’s concerns and issues regarding the project’s purpose, need and objectives and its potential effects on park resources, visitor experiences or park operations. After public scoping concludes the NPS will release a draft plan/EA for public review and comment before a final decision is made.

How to Comment

Members of the public and organizations are encouraged to provide comments online through the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website, which is used by the agency to manage official correspondence and analyze public comment in the planning process. From the project website, navigate the menu on the left hand side of the page to Document List, then IPMP/EA, and Comment on Document.

Comments may also be submitted in writing to:

National Park Service
National Capital Region
c/o Mark Frey, Exotic Plant Management Team Liaison
4598 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007

Comments must be entered into the website or postmarked by June 10, 2015 to receive consideration. Please be aware that the entire comment, including personal identifying information such as address, phone number, and e-mail address, may be made publicly available. Requests to withhold such personal identifying information from public release will be considered, but there is no guarantee that they will be withheld.

More About the Project

Invasive species issues in the following parks will be addressed in this plan.

  • Antietam National Battlefield (Md.)
  • Catoctin Mountain Park (Md.)
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (DC.., Md., W.Va.)
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway (D.C., Md., Va.)
  • Greenbelt Park (Md.)
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (W.Va., Va., Md.)
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park (Va.)
  • Monocacy National Battlefield (Md.)
  • National Capital Parks-East (D.C., Md.)
  • National Mall and Memorial Parks (D.C.)
  • Piscataway Park (Md.)
  • Prince William Forest Park (Va.)
  • Rock Creek Park (D.C.)
  • President’s Park (D.C.)
  • Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (Va.)

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WVCALA Kicksoff Annual Juror Appreciation Week

Charleston, W.Va. – In an effort to encourage and educate West Virginians about the importance of jury participation to our justice system, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) kicked off its annual Juror Appreciation Week today. The weeklong public education effort will stress the importance of the jury system and serving when summoned.

“When West Virginians serve on juries, they become an important part of the judicial process. Citizens who serve as jurors come away from the experience with a better understanding and higher regard for the justice system. That’s why West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is proud to recognize Juror Appreciation Week,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

According to the 2014 Juror Qualification Report from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, a total of 41,969 West Virginians completed jury service questionnaires in 2014. That number, which represented 2.26% of the state’s population, represented a 22.9% decline from 2013.

Jury service contributes to the American system of justice and is an important form of service to local communities. WV CALA will encourage small businesses and employers to educate employees on what resources are available to them if they receive a jury summons.

Stauffer concluded, “It’s our goal to improve the percentage of West Virginians who complete a jury service questionnaire and return it. Jury service is a duty of citizenship, similar to paying taxes and voting. Thank you to the thousands of citizens of West Virginia and the United States for making our country a symbol of justice. When given the opportunity to serve on a jury, I encourage you to answer the call.”

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West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.  For more information, visit http://www.WVCALA.org.


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May 2015 Events at Asbury UMC

Asbury UMC To Hold Pentecost Unity Service

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our entire community to join us as we celebrate the Church’s birthday on Sunday May 24th with a special Pentecost Unity Service.  This single service at 10 AM will feature special music, readings, a dynamic sermon and much more.  Everyone is then invited to join in for a time of fellowship in the Asbury Center.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.

Asbury UMC To Hold Church Yard Sale

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV will hold its annual church wide yard sale on Friday June 12th & Saturday June 13th .  All proceeds from this event will go towards the ministries of the church.  Outside spaces will be available to the public for $15/day or $25/2 days.  Asbury UMC is handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information or to reserve your space.

Asbury UMC Announces 2015 Vacation Bible School Schedule

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV announces their 2015 Vacation Bible School Program titled ‘Everest’.  Registration will be on Monday June 29th at 5:30 PM and the VBS program will be each weeknight from 6-8 PM (June 29th – July 3rd).  At Everest Vacation Bible School, kids experience God’s Word in surprising and unforgettable ways! Children are invited to embark on an icy expedition and learn how to overcome obstacles with God’s awesome power. We will help anchor kids in rock-solid Bible truths that will guide them through life’s challenges. All children, regardless of denomination or church affiliation are invited to participate.  Asbury UMC is handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.

Asbury UMC New Bible Study

Asbury UMC in Charles Town will hold a 6 week Bible Study titled “What Love Is” based on the letters of John 1,2 & 3 beginning May 28th at 7 PM .  The letters of John were written to encourage the followers of Jesus to remain faithful to the truth.  During this study, believers are challenged to look at contrasting themes such as walking in the light instead of darkness, truth versus lies and deception, loving God more than loving the world, and the meaning of true fellowship and community rather than shallowness. This study reveals not only the heart of John but also the heart of Jesus and encourages believers to press on in their faith, reflecting on what it means to be faithful to the truth.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information.


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Tenth Annual 2015 Celebration of the Visual Arts Awards (VIZZI) Ceremony Held

The purpose of VIZZI is to recognize outstanding student achievement in the visual arts. The competition is open to 10th – 12th graders in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties. First place winners in each contest received a cash prize, a 3-credit course scholarship from Blue Ridge CTC, and a trophy. Volunteer industry professionals judged the entries in the eleven different contests. The keynote speaker was Ryan Daughtridge, Founder and President of Bustin Industries.

VIZZI is made possible by sponsors: Berkeley County Development Authority, Blue Ridge Community & Technical College, Bucky’s Limited Auto Body, Inc., City National Bank, Heffle Motor Company, James Rumsey Technical Institute, Rotary Club of Martinsburg, Quad Graphics, and the West Virginia Department of Education as well as others throughout the community. Additional information regarding Vizzi can be found at http://www.vizziawards.org

Best of Show
Susan Margevich

Also shown in photo: Donna VanMetre, Director-Principal James Rumsey Technical Institute, Susan Margevich, Best of Show, and Natasha Fields, Art Teacher Spring Mills High School.


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Church at Martinsburg Gives Back to Celebrate its 6th Birthday

This month, the Church at Martinsburg, now meeting at a new facility at 50 Monroe Street in Martinsburg, will celebrate their sixth birthday. Founded in 2009, the church has made a point of getting involved and giving back to the community as a way to show love for their neighbors in the Eastern Panhandle.

Even though they have only met in a permanent facility since this past March, the Church at Martinsburg has always been focused on serving and caring for people that are outside of the walls of their church. In their short six year history, the church has given over $450,000 to local, US and international missions and church planting efforts. They have sent 75 people on nine international and domestic mission trips, where they preach the Bible and encourage local churches from India to Philadelphia.

Every Thanksgiving, the Church at Martinsburg donates frozen turkeys to local families in partnership with several local organizations in an effort that they call Operation: Thanks. Since 2009, they have donated 2,000 turkeys to families in need, effectively feeding more than 13,000 individuals on Thanksgiving in the Eastern Panhandle. “Martinsburg is our home and the Church at Martinsburg desires to see our neighbors and our city flourish. The impact that Operation: Thanks has had over the last six years is that desire in action,” church member Christopher Gomes said.

This past Saturday, the Church at Martinsburg completed their second annual Serve ITP (Serve in the Panhandle) Day of Service. The church mobilized people in 15 different community groups to 11 sites located around Berkeley and Jefferson Counties.

The church’s Lead Pastor, Jacob Atchley, said “Customarily people receive gifts on birthdays but for us it is important to give, especially as we celebrate our birthday each spring. Jesus’ example in Mark 10:45 shows us the importance of service.”

Over 100 volunteers performed projects to serve the Eastern Panhandle, working with schools and non-profit organizations including Martinsburg High School, the Battered Women’s Shelter, the VA Center in Kearneysville, Berkeley County Backpack Program, Orchard View Intermediate School, Berkeley County Senior Center, Berkeley County Parks and Recreation, Children’s Home Society, Boys and Girls Club, and Horses With Hearts.

“ServeITP is the realization of a long-time goal to have our entire church family simultaneously serving and giving back to the community together on one day. We have received much from Jesus Christ and serving our community should be a natural outpouring of His love to us.” Richard Marsh, Executive Pastor for the Church at Martinsburg said.

The church has had several meeting places since it was founded in 2009. The church began in the home of a member’s family and quickly outgrew and began meeting at the Holiday Inn on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg. In March of this year, they moved into their new home at 50 Monroe Street after 5 years of meeting at Regal Cinemas on Foxcroft Avenue. Since 2009, the church has grown from two families to over 500 regular attenders each Sunday.

Services are held Sundays at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. at 50 Monroe Street, Martinsburg, WV 25404. For more information about the Church at Martinsburg, visit http://www.martinsburgchurch.org.


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Defend and Protect: Arming America’s Soldiers at Harpers Ferry NHP

On Saturday and Sunday, May 23rd and 24th, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will present a special program, To Defend and Protect: Arming the American Soldier. This program will highlight Harpers Ferry’s gun-making industry and the field use of those weapons. Park rangers and volunteers dressed in civilian and military costumes will staff five permanent and temporary exhibit areas. A special tour and historic weapons firing demonstration will be held each day.

The clang of the gunsmith’s hammer and the clamor of machines echoed through Harpers Ferry during the first half of the 19th century. From the years of the early republic until the American Civil War, the United States Armory at Harpers Ferry produced weapons to arm American soldiers. Harpers Ferry transformed from a small rural village to a thriving industrial town. The United States Armory that dominated the town for sixty years manufactured approximately 500,000 muskets, rifles, pistols and ordnance for American military use. The improved mechanization processes and weapons development that occurred at the Harpers Ferry Armory improved firepower, thus affecting the science of war.


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Antietam Launches New Weekend Battlefield Ambassadors Program

Antietam National Battlefield will kickoff its new Battlefield Ambassadors program this weekend.  The program features specially trained volunteers at many of the key stops on the battlefield’s self-guided auto tour.  The uniformed Battlefield Ambassadors will staff between three and five tented stations on the battlefield on weekends from May-October.  Duties will include greeting visitors, answering questions, and providing informal interpretation of the specific tour stop.

Training for the approximately 30 new ambassadors began during the off-season.  The volunteers were drawn from all different backgrounds and life experiences, each with the primary requisites of a commitment to serve the public and a love of history.  Since December, the volunteers have attended monthly training classes and participated in hikes led by Antietam Battlefield Guides and park staff.  An experienced volunteer or guide mentor will coach and assist each of the new Ambassadors with their duties.

The field stops where Ambassadors may be stationed this season are: the Cornfield, West Woods, Sunken Road, Burnside Bridge, and Mumma Farm.  At the Mumma Farm, there will be programs and activities specifically tailored for young people.  Based on the public’s response, Antietam may add additional Battlefield Ambassador field stations at the Dunker Church and National Cemetery.

On weekends, visitors can stop by the Visitors Center to find out what tour stops have Ambassadors or they can look for the distinctive NPS tents around the field as they follow the self-guided auto tour. 

This new initiative is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, Antietam’s non-profit cooperative partner.

For further information on the Antietam Battlefield Ambassador program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Christie Stanczak at 301-432-5124 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Jeannette King named SBA’s WV Small Business Person of the Year

Jeannette King, President and CEO of Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. (SRE) in Martinsburg, WV is winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office 2015 Small Business Person of the Year.  King was nominated for the award by Jamye Eells, operations manager of the company. King also holds the title of SBA WV 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion.

In 2007, as a single mother and honorably discharged Navy veteran with only $10,000 in her bank account, King started her own business emphasizing her strong belief in the values of integrity, quality, and performance.

After getting her business on its feet, King entered the SBA 8(a) small business development program, a nine-year platform created to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in developing and growing their businesses.

SRE has received contracts from Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Safety Administration, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Treasury, United States Coast Guard, Navy Seaport-e IDIQ, Department of Veterans Affairs, NASA, Air Force, FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service with the help of the certification.

King also knew the importance of having credit as a security when taking on new contracts. In 2013 she worked with SBA to secure a $350,000 line of credit for unexpected expenses. SRE was able to use their line of credit at the end of FY2014 when they received several contract awards. The money was used for a short time while waiting on contract payments to come in, and was then paid off.

“Having a line of credit allows SRE to be able to bid on more contracts and those with larger dollar amounts than we would normally be able to,” said King.  “While our financial strategy is to have cash to carry our contracts, the line of credit is a backup in case there are payment issues.” King notes that SRE has a stringent process in place to bill their customers within 5 days of the end of every month. Being a small business, the (federal) government pays in advance of Net 30 in most cases. The strategy of billing on time has helped to maintain the cash flow and the legislation to ensure small businesses are paid on time has been critical to their financial success.

Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. has 22 employees in five states; West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, and Alabama. More than half of SRE’s employees are veterans and/or military spouses and almost half of SRE employees are residents of West Virginia. King has a dedication to keep West Virginians and veterans employed.

“Winning the 2015 SBA West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year is an incredible honor, as I know the businesses in our state and the hard working dedicated people who lead them,” said King. “My business model is about helping people and doing the right thing and this proves that you can be honest, have integrity and be successful in business in this country and in our state.”

King actively supports service members in the United States and overseas. She supports veterans through mentoring, providing employment opportunities, and through the financial support of various charities focused on Active Duty military, families, and veterans. Two organizations close to King’s heart are Final Salute, Inc., which provides safe and suitable housing for homeless female veterans and their children, and Honor the Sacrifice which provides support to active duty soldiers deployed overseas, as well as veterans and their families.

“When describing Jeannette King, one cannot do so without discussing her generosity,” Eells wrote in her nomination letter. “Ms. King is one of the most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She gives her time by advising young or new entrepreneurs on how to get started or best practices,”

SBA’s West Virginia District Office celebrates King’s award during a luncheon at the Canaan Valley State Park & Conference Center in Davis, Wednesday, May 27 at 11:30 a.m. during the 25th Annual Teaming to Win Conference. The awards luncheon will be emceed by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.  Click here for a list of the 2015 West Virginia District Small Business Week winners.


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Appalachian Trail Flip Flop Kick Off Weekend, May 2 & 3

For some Appalachian Trail hikers, the motto “Hike Your Own Hike” is taking on a new meaning as thru-hikers with non-traditional itineraries gain in popularity. Although 80 percent of hikers who set out to complete the entire Appalachian Trail in 12 months or less start in Georgia and end in Maine, a growing percentage are attempting a “flip-flop,” which is a hike that begins and/or ends mid-Trail. The ATC is encouraging this type of conservation-minded thru-hike.

If you’re curious about flip-flop hikes, you’re not alone! That’s why we’ve decided to host the inaugural Flip Flop Kick Off (FFKO) weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Learn more about flip-flop hiking and help us celebrate this year’s class of flip-flop thru-hikers by attending this special event. See the schedule of events below for specific details about workshops, games, music and more!

Schedule of Events (new events/updated times are being added regularly):

Saturday, May 2

10 a.m.: Session 1: Flip-Flopping in 2014 by Anne “Nubbins” Brown
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

11 a.m.: Session 2: The Advantages of an Alternative Thru-Hike:  How to Plan your Flip-Flop by Ryan “Castanada” Seltzer (2009 “Cool Breeze” flip-flopper)
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

Noon: Session 3: First Aid and Staying Healthy by Heather “Brave” Harmon-Sloan
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

Noon to 2 p.m.: Cookout (hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and drinks available for donation)
Location: Odd Fellows yard

1 p.m. Session 4: Pack Shakedown - Lauralee “Blissful” Bliss
Session will begin with a demo pack shakedown comparing heavy and lightweight packs. Then Lauralee will evaluate items in packs of individual hikers looking to reduce their pack weight. To have your pack assessed, sign up at the Event Info Table (first-come, first-served). All are invited to observe.
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

1 to 4 p.m.: Live music featuring The Hokums (1 to 2 p.m.), Todd Coyle (2 to 3 p.m.), and Craggy Island (3 to 4 p.m.)
Location: Main stage at Odd Fellows yard

2:30 p.m.: Session 5: Flip-Flop Hiker Panel Discussion with Anne “Nubbins” Brown ’14 (Pearisburg northbound); Emily “Fiver” Mishler ’14 (Harpers Ferry northbound); and Ryan “Castanada” Seltzer ’09 (modified “Cool Breeze”)
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

3:30 p.m.: Session 6: Flipping Out for 30 Days: Lessons Learned by “Treehugger”
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

4:30 p.m.: Session 7: Trail Magic Panel Discussion with Lauralee “Blissful” Bliss, Heather “Brave” Harmon-Sloan and others.
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church basement

5 p.m.: Day concludes with prize giveaways
Location: Main stage, Odd Fellows Lawn

Sorry, no pets are allowed at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church.

Other fun festival offerings:
- Interactive Leave No Trace demonstrations at 10:15, 11:15, 2:45, 3:45 and 4:45. Learn how to bear bag and dig a proper cat hole!
- Ongoing kid’s activities, including a special A.T. Cornhole game
- Free temporary tattoos
- A commemorative Flip Flop Kick Off stamp for your Appalachian Trail Passport! Just visit the Information table during the event.
- Exhibitors and Vendors include The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA), Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials, The Appalachian Trail Museum, Half App Ts, Harpers Ferry Merchants Association, The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Potomac Valley Audubon Society, River Riders, Trego Mountain Nature Center, Two Rivers Treads, and more!
Sunday, May 3

7:30 a.m.: Community pancake breakfast
Location: Camp Hill Methodist Church, 601 Washington St.
9 a.m.: Flip flop hiker sendoff
Location: ATC’s Visitor Center

Lodging
A variety of lodging options can be found at http://www.historicharpersferry.org. Additional lodging is available in Charles Town, WV, 5-7 miles away.

Camping
Camping options within 10 miles of Harpers Ferry include:

- KOA - Harpers Ferry, WV - (2 miles west of ATC)

- Harpers Ferry Campground, Harpers Ferry, WV – 4 miles west of ATC (by vehicle), about 2 miles on foot.

- *Knoxville-Harpers Ferry HI Hostel - Knoxville, MD, 4 miles north of ATC (closed during the day) - you can stay in the hostel or pitch your tent.

- *Brunswick Family Campground - Brunswick, MD 7 miles east, along the Potomac -River and C&O Towpath (about 3 miles trail East of the A.T. junction at Keeptryst Road near Weverton).

- Maple Tree Campground - Rohrersville, Maryland, 10 miles north of ATC, very close to the A.T. at Crampton Gap wooded, campsites and cabins.

*Harpers Ferry-Bolivar A.T. Community Supporters

Parking
Parking is available in the lots below (west of) the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, between Washington and Fillmore Streets and Zachary Taylor and Storer College Place. If you are coming from Union Street or the stoplight, this is the block just uphill of Mena’s Pizza, on the right. If these lots fill up, you can park in the maintenance lot at the south end of Zachary Taylor Street.

More information about this event is posted when it becomes available, so keep on checking back! In the meantime, email Laurie Potteiger at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have specific questions or if you want to become involved in this special event.


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May Workshops at Jala Yoga Announced

Charles Town, WV—Jala Yoga, the vibrant yoga studio with locations in Winchester, VA, Shepherdstown, WV, and Charles Town, WV, has announced its May workshops. From learning the basics to experiencing Ayurveda to practicing with a DJ, there are many ways to expand your yoga practice in May.  Registration for all workshops can be done at jalayogaflow.com or by phoning 401-440-0279.

On Saturday, May 16, from 6:30-8:00 pm, Jala owner Christa Mastrangelo Joyce leads a YogaJam with DJ Xtina.  This is a fun opportunity to experience yoga in a new way, encouraging you to flow in rhythm to dance tunes.  The YogaJam takes place at Jala’s Charles Town location, 307 West Washington Street. The cost is just $18 to be part of this unique event!

Yoga instructor Katherine Berger leads a Spring Ritual Ayurveda Reset on Sundays, May 17,  24, and 31, from 2:00-4:00 pm.  Katherine will introduce practical, everyday lifestyle choices that will bring greater vitality, balance, and clarity, with particular emphasis on diet and specific yoga postures for Spring.  Included in the 3-week program are a live call with Katherine, a private Facebook group for support, daily emails with stress relief practices and recipes, shopping lists, and unlimited yoga classes during the program.  The cost is $120 ($80 for members). The workshop takes place at Jala’s Winchester location, Creekside Station, 3119 Valley Avenue, Unit 110.

Starting on Sunday, May 24 and meeting every Sunday through June 21, from 3:30-5:00 pm, is Jala’s 5-Week Beginner’s Series.  Instructor Will Hufnagel teaches this class at Jala’s Charles Town studio.  The course will cover yoga postures and philosophy, and students who complete the 5 weeks will have the foundation to move on to other classes on the Jala Yoga schedule.  The cost is $60, with a $5 discount for those who register before May 20.

The popular Young Yogis class for children ages 3-6 will continue on Tuesdays, 4:00-4:30 pm, throughout the months of May and June.  The class takes place at the Charles Town studio. Instructor Whitney Ingram introduces yoga postures to kids while they make new friends and have fun.  The cost is $12 a class.

To register for any of the workshops or for more information about Jala Yoga and its other offerings, please visit http://www.jalayogaflow.com or call 401-440-0279.

PHOTO: DJ Xtina (courtesy of the artist)


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An Evening with one of CATF’s Playwrights, Michael Weller

Please join the Contemporary American Theater Festival this Saturday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Marinoff Theater at Shepherd University for an Evening with Michael Weller, one of this season’s playwrights.  He will be reading from selected works including this season’s production of The Full Catastrophe.

The evening will also contain a guided discussion by our Producing Director, Ed Herendeen. Don’t miss this chance to meet, greet, and ask questions of one of our inspiring playwrights! Expected run time is 90 minutes.

Tickets (tax deductible) are $50 each.  You may contact CATF at (304) 876-3473 to reserve a seat.  Please bring your friends to this incredible event and help celebrate the 25th Anniversary Season!

MICHAEL WELLER is best known for his plays Moonchildren, Loose Ends, Spoils of War, and his trilogy including What the Night is For, Fifty Words (MCC), and Side Effects (MCC). He wrote the Book for the musical Dr. Zhivago, from the novel by Boris Pasternak, which premiered in Sydney, Australia in February 2011 and will open on Broadway in April. For ten years, Michael was the Supervising Mentor for the Mentor Project of the Cherry Lane Theatre.

His films include Hair, Ragtime (for Milos Forman), Lost Angels (for Hugh Hodson) and a teleplay of his Broadway drama Spoils of War, starring Kate Nelligan. He was a writer-producer on the critically acclaimed series “Once & Again.”

Michael’s work has garnered an Academy Award nomination, and N.A.A.C. P. Outstanding Contribution Award, Critics Outer Circle Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant and a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, and a Helen Merrill Award for playwriting. The Broken Watch Theatre Company has honored him by naming their playhouse in his name. He is on the counsel of the Writers Guild of America and a member of the Dramatists Guild.


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Martinsburg Heritage Days 2015 Complete Schedule, Updated

EXPERIENCE Martinsburg-home of generals, spies, & intrigue

Friday, May 8, 2015:

6:30pm—Opening Ceremony at the Adam Stephen Monument in the 600 block of South Queen Street, conducted by patriotic groups and local organizations.

8:00pm—Ghost tours: “Haunted History and Legends of Martinsburg,” a 2-hour walking tour of ghost sites and scary stories of old town Martinsburg. Not recommended for under age 13. Tickets are $12. Reservations 304-261-7470.

8:00pm—“Once Upon a Mattress” at the Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 East Martin Street. Regular admission $15, students with ID $7.  Reserve tickets 304-263-6766.

Saturday, May 9, 2015:

8:00-10:00am—Founding Fathers Pancake & Sausage Breakfast at the historic Trinity UM Church, 220 West Martin Street, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 25. Cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children under 13. Civil War author Bob O’Connor will give a presentation about his book, “The Life of Abraham Lincoln as President.”   

10:00am-2:00pm—Kayak Float on the Tuscarora Creek, at 440 North Queen Street, sponsored by the Eastern Panhandle Trailblazers. Bring your kayak to put in at the creek next to the old Foundry near the railroad underpass on North Queen Street for a half-hour ride to the takeout point along East John Street below the Adam Stephen House. (Please note: only kayakers with some experience will be allowed to make this incredible journey. This event may be cancelled in the event of rain.)

NOTE - The Heritage Day Kayak Event tomorrow has been cancelled due to a low water condition on the Tuscarora.

10:00am-4:00pm—Continuous showing of Martinsburg films from the 1920s to 1950s from the library archives at the Martinsburg Public Library, 101 East King Street.

10:00am-5:00pm—Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, will feature an exhibit of plein air paintings to call attention to historic locations around Martinsburg.

10:00am-5:00pm—Historic site tours at participating sites including Adam Stephen House & Tunnels, Belle Boyd House, Boydville, For the Kids by George Children’s Museum , Martinsburg Roundhouse, Sumner-Ramer Heritage Archives, and Triple Brick Museum. Hours for tours may vary a little at some sites. The trolley will be providing free transportation between listed sites between 9:30am and 6:00pm.
                                                                                                         
Adam Stephen House,309 East John Street,tours of house and Triple Brick Museum by the General Adam Stephen Memorial Association; Adam Stephen portrayed by John DiCarlo; tours of the tunnels by the Tri- State Grotto chapter of the National Speleological Society; French & Indian War demonstrations by Harold “Gene” Butts; yard sale by the Adam Stephen Association; lunch and refreshments for sale by the Martinsburg Lions Club.

—Belle Boyd House, 126 East Race Street, tours of the house and rose and herb gardens by Berkeley County Historical Society and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau; tourist information center; information booth by Berkeley Boarder Guards chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; living historians including Belle Boyd portrayed by Tricia Strader and the 5 th Virginia Infantry camp.

—Boydville, 601 South Queen Street, tours by the Friends of Boydville and Jonathon & Meagan Mann; bean soup lunch for sale; metal-detecting demonstration; information booth for Haunted History & Legends of Martinsburg ghost tours; information booth in dining
room for booking events at historic Boydville.

—For the Kids, by George, Children’s Musuem, at Caperton Train Station, 229 East Martin Street, Discounted children’s museum tickets $3 for ages 2 and up.

—Martinsburg Roundhouse, access by bridge at train station, 229 East Martin Street, tours by Retired Railroad Workers; running train exhibits by the Bunker Hill Train Club and the Potomac Garden Railroad Club, and railroad history merit badge program for Scouts.

—Sumner-Ramer Heritage Archives Museum, 515 West Martin Street, hosted by Leonard & Helen Harris; exhibit of memorabilia from the Sumner-Ramer Memorial School, which was Martinsburg’s and Berkeley County’s first African-American public school.                                                                       

12:00-5:00pm—JamFest on the Square sponsored by Berkeley County Relay for Life at the town square plaza (intersection of King and Queen Streets) with vendors and the following bands: FOG from 12:00-1:30pm, Old Lady Afro from 1:30-3:00pm, Joker’s from 3:00-5:00pm.                           

1:00pm—Dedication of new flagpole and flags at the Confederate Monument and Soldiers Grave in Green Hill Cemetery at 486 East Burke Street by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The public is invited to attend this dedication ceremony.                                                                                     

1:00pm—Wonderment Puppet Theatre, 411 West King Street, puppet performance. Admission: $5 for ages 2 and up.

2:00pm-The Be-Hive, 205 North Queen Street, free activity for families with children at 2:00pm. Doors open 1pm.                                               

3:30pm: High Heel Race, at the town square plaza (intersection of King and Queen Streets), sponsored by Berkeley County Relay for Life.                     

5:00pm—Bras and Boxers Auction, at the town square plaza (intersection of King and Queen Streets), sponsored by Berkeley County Relay for Life.

8:00pm—Ghost tours: Haunted History and Legends of Martinsburg, a 2-hour walking tour of ghost sites and scary stories of old town Martinsburg. Not recommended for under age 13. Tickets are $12. Reservations 304-261-7470.

8:00pm—“Once Upon a Mattress” at the Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 East Martin Street. Regular admission $15, students with ID $7. Reserve tickets 304-263-6766.

Sunday, May 10, 2015:

9:00am-4:00pm—Belle Boyd House, 126 East Race Street, tours of the house by Berkeley County Historical Society and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Berkeley County tourist information available.

12:00-5:00pm—For the Kids, by George, Children’s Musuem, at Caperton Train Station, 229 East Martin Street, Day of Play museum fundraiser with life-size chess game, checkers, hopscotch, marble-shooting, shut-the-box, and more!  Small gift for visiting both For the Kids by George Museum & the Adam Stephen House.

12:00-5:00pm—General Adam Stephen House, 309 East John Street, Children’s Games Day featuring children’s games and activities including baby lambs, lawn-bowling, hoop-rolling, graces, and making a silhouette portrait for Mom. House tours on the hour from 12:00 to 4:00pm.                                         

1:00pm—Wonderment Puppet Theatre, 411 West King Street, puppet performance. Admission: $5 for ages 2 and up.

2:30pm—“Once Upon a Mattress” at the Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 East Martin Street. Regular admission $12, students with ID $7. Reserve tickets 304-263-6766.


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Church at Martinsburg Opens Doors to the Community

On Thursday, April 30, the Church at Martinsburg held an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its recently renovated facility at 50 Monroe Street near Berkeley Plaza, located off US-11. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by area business owners, church members, and several local and state government officials. The church is excited to partner with and serve the community, especially as it settles into Martinsburg’s northside.

In the past few years, Martinsburg’s northside, once the hub for merchants in the city, has seen a surge of growth and expansion. The Church at Martinsburg is excited to be a part of that revitalization as the city continues to experience growth.

With over 500 people attending Sunday services, the Church at Martinsburg had outgrown its former location at Regal Cinemas on Foxcroft Avenue. “We have been amazed to see people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and age groups come to our church, and it has been humbling to watch God bring more people to our faith family every week,” said Jacob Atchley, the church’s Lead Pastor.

A greeting was read from Senator Joe Manchin, along with remarks and prayers from the church’s pastors and staff. “Jesus is changing lives — we see it on a weekly basis. The gospel is bearing fruit not just on Sunday, but throughout the week,” said Atchley.

On Sunday, March 8, the Church at Martinsburg began having worship services in their new space at 50 Monroe Street. The church took ownership of the building in July 2014 and began the renovation process.

At close to 30,000 square feet, the church’s facility at 50 Monroe Street has a 600-seat auditorium, an open gathering space in the lobby, seven children’s classrooms, adult education classrooms, a prayer room, a large administration wing and ample room to grow. The church has a heart to use this space not only for Sunday services, but as a training center for Christians that will love and serve the community throughout the week.

The Church at Martinsburg has Sunday services at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. at 50 Monroe Street, Martinsburg, WV 25404. All are welcome to attend services and enjoy coffee and refreshments. For more information on the Church at Martinsburg, please visit http://www.martinsburgchurch.org.

Photo: Several leaders from the church and the community celebrate at the Church at Martinsburg’s ribbon cutting. L-R: Tina Combs, Jill Upson, Jamie Leatherman, Jacob Atchley, Lindsey Atchley, Saira Blair, Richard Marsh, Tammy Borden.


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Kidz Power Pacs May Updates

We wanted to share updates for May. If you can help with any of the items please let us know!

1. Next Packing: May 15th unloading of the truck starting at 430 pm until roughly 7 pm. May 16th packing of the bags. We start gathering at 9 am for fellowship and refreshments, 930 we ask you be there for announcements, instructions, pray and we start packing.  This will be our last regular packing for this school year. All takes place at Eagle School Intermediate and all ages are welcome!!  Park in back parking lot of school and enter through center metal door.

2. Summer Program:  We do go all summer long. We are seeking team helpers for our different distribution sites through out Berkeley and Jefferson county. We are also collecting large boxes of cereal and jars of peanut butter to add to the children’s food boxes. We are estimating 600 of each needed each month of June, July and August.  Interested in helping in either area please let us know.

Summer program does cost the ministry extra per child as we are covering a months worth of food compared to just the weekends. If you would like to help cover the extra cost please let us know. Average extra cost per child is $15 per child per month.

3.  One Harvest: This is another ministry CCM has for the communities. Great way to save on grocery bill, no limits on how much you can order, no qualifications to meet which means it is for EVERYONE, same great food you would buy in a grocery store just cheaper in price, ministry receives $1 back per box ordered which helps the ministry, donate to the ministry or donate a box directly to a family in need and we also are state approved to accept the EBT/food stamp card!!! See menu attached.

4. 3rd Annual Community Day in the Park Event : Takes place June 27th at War Memorial Park by main stage and pavilion. We have 4 major needs : 1. We are in need of sponsors for different items to help on the cost of this event. If your church, business or company would like to sponsor we would DEEPLY appreciate it.  2. We also need LOTS and LOTS of volunteers to help through out the day.  3. We would love to have your church, outreach or agency set up through out the event. One purpose of this event is to provide many resources to the community and have them all in one location. 4. Last but not least: Prayers for the event: many people be reached, family and children enjoy a free , no stress day, all needs are met, travel mercies for all that attend and we have beautiful weather!!!

Please use this link to obtain the forms needed for sponsorship and to set up that day. Email us back if you can spare some time on that day to be helping hands.  http://communitycombined.org/fundraisers/day-in-the-park-homelink  If you can’t copy and paste this link click on the link below that takes you to our website. Event is on our home page and you can follow links from there. 

5. Huge Thank you to each and everyone that has made this year another huge success for CCM and Kidz Power Pacs!! Due to your prayers , love and support no child had to be placed on a waiting list!! We took a huge leap of faith on adding all the extra schools this year in Jefferson County. We added almost 200 extra children and even though some months were tight our Lord provided and all children were covered each and every month!!! We were able to provide 22,400 meals per month for our regular weekend packing’s plus 12,800 sides per month and 3,200 fruit snacks which is a little bonus the children enjoy. We strive to make sure they are receiving meals and sides compared to snacks each weekend. During the breaks the children received all 3 meals for each and every day they were out of school. Again no snacks were included as they already have that food source at home.

We are truly seeking more sponsors and churches to partner with us in the Jefferson County area. Many of the children with the added schools this year still need covered. Please help us spread the word and help us get these children covered for this coming fall! Each year the need increases. Send them to our facebook page or website to read about the ministry. We will be happy to meet with anyone to discuss sponsorship and answer any questions. We would Love to share with your congregation, group, business and always feel welcome to come join us. It’s also a great way to earn those community hours if needed!!!

Thank you all so very much!!!
Diana and team


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Potomac Conservancy securing funds to buy West Virginia’s White Horse Mountain

Save White Horse Mountain: Indiegogo Campaign Film | 4.83 min

Potomac Conservancy, a non-profit safeguarding the waters of the Potomac River and its tributaries, is calling on the public to donate to a crowdsourcing campaign to support a $3.2 million effort to purchase West Virginia’s 1700-acre White Horse Mountain. The purchase will protect the land from development threats. Once the land is acquired, Potomac Conservancy plans to transfer the title to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources which will open up the mountain to the public for hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and other recreational activities.

Located in Hampshire County, West Virginia, less than a 3-hour drive from the Washington DC Metro area, White Horse Mountain is one of the largest tracts of unbroken forested land remaining in the South Branch Valley. For six miles, the land parallels the South Branch River, a major tributary to the Potomac River which supplies water to nearly 6 million people. The mountain itself, protects the spring-fed municipal water supply for the nearby town of Springfield.

While the majority of the money to complete the purchase of the mountain has come from private donors, foundations, and a loan from The Conservation Fund, a portion will be raised through an online INDIEGOGO campaign. Through this campaign, the Conservancy aims to raise at least $35,000 to help fund the purchase of the mountain.

“Current development plans would carve the undisturbed natural lands into 70 residential lots, which would not only destroy this treasured forest but would also damage water quality downstream and put local wildlife habitat at risk,” says Aimee Weldon, Senior Director of Lands at Potomac Conservancy and project manager for the land deal.

“Potomac Conservancy is purchasing White Horse Mountain to ensure a different future for this land as a place that everyone can enjoy rather than just a few private homeowners. Anyone can play a role in saving this mountain by contributing to the crowdsourcing campaign and sharing it on social media,” Weldon adds.

White Horse Mountain is currently owned by a Florida developer who bought the land in 2003 with plans to create a new subdivision on the property. The housing market decline forced the land back onto the market. 

“We now have a rare opportunity to put this land into conservation and open it to public use once again,” said Weldon. “The area is a long-time community priority as it was once open to the public while owned by the timber company MeadWestvaco prior to 2003.”

In addition to acquiring the mountain and transferring to the State, Potomac Conservancy will encourage further protection of the area by helping private landowners near White Horse apply for grant funds to purchase conservation easements on over 3,000 acres of nearby land in order to create a larger conservation hub.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1993, Potomac Conservancy is a member-supported non-profit that works to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean water, healthy lands, and vibrant communities. The Conservancy fights for improved water quality through conservation and advocacy, and empowers local landowners, volunteers, activists, members, and partners to lead the charge for clean streams and safe drinking water.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHITE HORSE MOUNTAIN, please visit http://www.potomac.org/whitehorse or contact Patricia Brooks at 202-351-1757.


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Berkeley Arts Council Announces June Art Classes

The Berkeley Arts Council announced new classes for June to be presented in the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

Judith Becker will teach “Intermediate Watercolor Painting” for all students who have either taken classes in beginning watercolor or have had experience painting on their own and want to further their skills. Classes will be held Fridays, June 5, 12, 19, 26 from1-4pm.


Jean Kellogg offers two classes for intermediate and advanced artists. “Drawing Mystery and Mastery” aims to increase their drawing skills achieve more satisfying images and results. Classes will be held Thursdays, June 4, 11, 18, 25 from 1-4pm. In the six week class, “Layers Meaning - Developing Depth, Dimension and Personal Meaning in your Art” students will learn to create mystery, evoke an emotional response through unique mixed-media, multilayer, multidimensional images. Classes will be held Sundays, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, and 12 from 1-4pm.

Saturday workshops include “Exploring Exciting Background Techniques” (June 13, 1-4pm) taught by Judith Becker. This workshop introduces a full spectrum of techniques and considerations when choosing the best approach to compliment or enhance the artwork’s subject through the background areas.

On Saturday, June 20 from 1-4pm Jean Kellogg will present “Abstracted! Flow, Texture and Abstracted Design”. This three hour workshop will explore versatile techniques and various media to create intricate textures to personalize and execute the artist’s abstract artistic vision.

Open Studio with Judith Becker continues on Wednesday afternoons from 1-4pm through June.

Details and online registration is available at http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/

The Berkeley Art Works, a project of the Berkeley Arts Council, is the realization of the long-held dream of the arts community in Martinsburg and Berkeley County West Virginia: to have a community-based arts facility that supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences for the members of the public, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists, and artisans. The Berkeley Arts Council is on the Web at http://www.berkeleyartswv.org.


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City Farming: Food in the Backyard Program at Harpers Ferry NHP

On Saturday and Sunday, May 9th and 10th, experience Victorian everyday life in antebellum Harpers Ferry. Before the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the mass production of processed foods, ordinary citizens depended on small kitchen gardens for sustenance, right in the heart of the smoke filled industrial town.

Visit the park’s historic garden and discover the connections between historic gardening and solutions for confronting climate change that today can be mitigated by Victorian organic gardening methods.  Join Living History staff and volunteers on the park green opposite the Bookshop to see heirloom seedlings and purchase historic heirloom seeds from the Bookshop to start your very own kitchen garden.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/UtAEk


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12th Annual Washington County Museum Ramble Schedule Announced

HAGERSTOWN, MD –The 12th Annual Museum Ramble, sponsored by the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites (WCAMHS) and the Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), is set to commence again on Friday, May 1, 2015. This year’s Ramble includes 30 local museums and historic sites. Many of the participating museums have special offerings planned for the weekend. For some of the museums, this event marks their grand opening weekend for the season.

“We are very happy to be celebrating the Ramble’s 12th year,” said WCAMHS President Joyce Stanley. “No matter what your interests are—fine arts, rural heritage, American history, black history, geology, or trains—you’re sure to enjoy a ramble through this year’s selection of Washington County museums. We welcome visitors and residents to take a trip through our county and experience our rich history through visiting some of our wonderful museums.”

With more sites participating than ever before, organizers suggest a good place to start the day is at the downtown Hagerstown Visitor Center, 6 North Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Museum Ramble will take place throughout the month of May 2015.
  • A number of museums within close proximity of each other have elected to pick one weekend in May to help you focus your attention on a different area of the county each weekend. Others will be open each weekend. It is important to check the guide for each museum or site’s hours.
  • May 2-3 Mid-County and City Center (includes Hagerstown and Williamsport)
  • May 9-10 Southeast County (includes Sharpsburg, Boonsboro)
  • May 16-17 Northeast County (Includes Beaver Creek, Smithsburg, Ft. Ritchie)
  • May 23-25 & May 30-31 West County (includes Hancock, Clear Spring, Fort Frederick)
  • Some sites will be offering Ramble Rewards at their sites. Drawings will be held at a number of sites, as well. Be sure you fill out an entry form during your visit. See each listing for the special rewards and drawing prizes. (You do not need to be present to win drawings.)


The printed guide is available at the Visitor Welcome Center in downtown Hagerstown and at the various museum sites. The online Museum Ramble brochure includes a list of participating sites, the hours for each site, and links to a Google map for ease in locating each site on the self-guided tour. It can be accessed at http://museumramble.visithagerstown.com/

All 4th grade students in Washington County Public Schools are given a Museum Ramble brochure to encourage their participation as a supplement to their lessons about local history.

Of Maryland’s 300-plus museums, more than ten percent are located in Washington County. The Museum Ramble makes the most of this by welcoming residents and visitors to the county’s museums, many of which are private and typically open by appointment only. New this year to the Museum Ramble are Beaver Creek School Museum from 1904; Hancock Museum; Hancock Visitors Center, which houses the Sidling Hill Exhibit; The Kennedy Farm, which John Brown used as the staging area for the raid on Harpers Ferry, and Wilson Country School and Store.

The Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (http://www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: http://www.quadstate81.com.


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Shepherdstown Cemetery Preservation Demonstration to be held Saturday, April 25

On Saturday, April 25 from 3 to 5 p.m., students from Shepherd University’s Historic Preservation Class will discuss and demonstrate their efforts to map, document, and preserve the Shepherd Family Burial Ground. The presentation will take place at the Burial Ground located on New Street between Church and King Streets in Shepherdstown. The event is part of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission Speakers Series for 2015. It is free and open to the public.

The Historic Shepherdstown Commission has been working with the Corporation of Shepherdstown to restore the deteriorating walls surrounding the burial ground, maintain the grounds, and preserve the gravestones. The Commission has received grants for wall restoration from the Helen Parker Willard Fund and the Two Rivers Giving Circle, both part of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, as well as from the Shepherd family.
       
The work to be discussed and demonstrated on Saturday will contribute to the preservation efforts by documenting the burial ground and beginning the process of restoring the stones.
       
The cemetery is said to be the burial place of Thomas Shepherd who laid out and incorporated Shepherdstown in the early 1700’s. It is the burial place of his son Abraham (d.1863), who fought in the Revolution, and presided over the first elected Board of Trustees of Shepherdstown and of Thomas’s grandson, Rezin Davis Shepherd (1784-1865), who shaped the town as we see it today.
       
For further information, contact Historic Shepherdstown Administrator Teresa McLaughlin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 304-876-0910.


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Volunteers Being Sought for Historic Newcomer House Exhibit and Visitors Center at Antietam

Sharpsburg, MD – Here is a unique opportunity to become a National Park Service volunteer! Volunteers are being sought to staff the historic Newcomer House on the Antietam National Battlefield during the 2015 season.

While no specific knowledge or skills are required, a willingness to deal with the public in a cordial manner is a must! Also, interest in Civil War history is a definite plus. Volunteers will receive mentor training on-site during regular visitor hours. A volunteer’s primary duty is to greet visitors as they enter the Newcomer House Exhibit and Visitors Center, and help orient them to the immediate area and opportunities in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (HCWHA). The job description is available below.

Newcomer House volunteers also receive opportunities for special programs and tours.

The Newcomer House, 18422 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg, MD, is one of only two historic homes on the battlefield open to the public. The other is Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The Newcomer House was built in the late 1780s as part of a thriving mill complex and farm astride the Boonsboro Pike where the Middle Bridge spans Antietam Creek. The house gets its present day name from Joshua Newcomer who owned the property during the 1862 Battle of Antietam. This is the period to which the appearance of the house has been restored.

A cooperative agreement between the Antietam National Battlefield and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau allows for programming, management and maintenance of the Newcomer House. It is the official Visitors Center for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, which encompasses portions of Washington, Frederick and Carroll Counties. Three exhibit rooms explore the major themes of the heritage area: In the Heat of Battle, On the Home Front, and Beyond the Battlefield.

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Newcomer House coordinator Rachel Nichols: 240-308-1740, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about Hagerstown-Washington County, see http://www.marylandmemories.com.

The Antietam National Battlefield is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. In November of 2012, the State of Maryland recognized the unique partnership of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Antietam National Battlefield, and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area with the Governor’s Cultural Heritage Tourism Award for the Newcomer House project. The Cultural Heritage Tourism Award is presented for outstanding investments and contributions in stewardship and development of Maryland’s cultural heritage product and engagement in regional and statewide tourism initiatives.

Washington County has five national parks, eight state parks, over 30 museums, a renowned professional symphony orchestra, a professional minor league baseball team, and the county has been ranked first in the State of Maryland in the Retail Opportunity Index. The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (http://www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: http://www.quadstate81.com.

Antietam National Battlefield tells the story of America’s bloodiest day in our nation’s fight for freedom. On September 17, 1862 over 23,000 Americans were killed or wounded in the Battle of Antietam. As the sun set over the bloody fields of Sharpsburg, the Civil War became a different struggle. Five days after the battle, armed with pen and paper, Abraham Lincoln changed the war and our nation when he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared freedom for the enslaved in the rebelling states, beginning the important journey of freedom and equality for all Americans. Antietam National Battlefield preserves these stories of tragedy and of hope on America’s journey from Civil War to Civil Rights. For further information, visit http://www.nps.gov/anti/.

Newcomer House Volunteer Job Description

Necessary Skills:
No specific knowledge or skills are required, but a willingness to interact with the public in a cordial manner is important.

Working Conditions:
The volunteer’s work will occur at the Newcomer House Visitor Information Center. Volunteers will be expected to work independently with little supervision. The Newcomer House is a small visitor center on Maryland Rte. 34, with visitation that increases during the busy summer months.

Duties:
A volunteer’s primary duty is to greet visitors as they enter the Newcomer House information center and orient them to the area. This area encompasses the local community, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, South Mountain State Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, and the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The volunteer will hand out informational literature, tell visitors about the area, and assist them in meeting their needs.
Over the course of time, the volunteer is expected to become familiar with the resources available at the Newcomer House, such as park handouts and maps of the area. Volunteers will also help with a variety of office duties, such as making copies and answering the phones.

Training:
The volunteer will be provided with adequate training and orientation to enable them to perform their job in a satisfactory manner. The volunteer coordinator will be available to answer questions from the volunteer about the position. Volunteers may be assigned a mentor; either a park ranger, experienced volunteer, or partner organization staff member for on the job training.

Uniform:
The volunteer must wear the prescribed uniform. The park will provide the volunteer with a shirt, shoulder patch, hat, and nameplate. The uniform also includes dark brown or khaki trousers/skirt. If the volunteer needs to buy trousers, the park will reimburse the volunteer. Uniforms should be clean and neatly pressed.

Time Commitment:
The Newcomer House will be open seasonally: Hours are 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday April, May, October and November; Daily June-October. The volunteer is expected to work a minimum of six hours per month during the summer season. If the volunteer is unable to show up for work as regularly scheduled, he or she should notify a supervisor as soon as possible.

Evaluation:
The volunteer coordinator will evaluate the volunteer’s performance after 90 days to determine if the volunteer is meeting the park’s expectations and if the job is meeting the volunteer’s expectations. Subsequent evaluations will occur annually.
The most important factors in evaluating a volunteer’s performance are:
1) Polite and pleasant interactions with the visiting public.
2) Reliable attendance and punctuality.
3) The accuracy of information provided to the public.

For more information please contact Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Washington County Assistant Rachel Nichols, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 240-308-1740.


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Leitersburg Cinemas Upgrades VIP Seats and Announces Healthy Menu Options

Hagerstown, Maryland [April 13, 2015]: Leitersburg Cinemas announced two new ways to improve the local movie-going experience – better VIP seating and healthy menu options.

Leitersburg Cinemas recently replaced the 5-year-old manual leather recliners with new, power-reclining VIP seats in all four VIP theaters. Four out of the ten screens are equipped with VIP seats.

Local independent theater installs new power-reclining VIP seats; Launches Healthy Menu Options, including Air-popped Popcorn

“It was time to swap-out the old VIP seats. They were in decent shape, but many needed repaired constantly, so we decided to upgrade sooner than later,” said Rich Daughtridge, Founder and President of High Rock Holdings, the parent company of Leitersburg Cinemas.

In addition to the VIP seat replacement project, dubbed “Chairpocolypes II”, officials said they also took the opportunity to paint floors, install new carpet, upgrade track lighting in all of the VIP theaters. All renovations were completed in a two-week timeframe in March.

“We are excited by how all the renovations turned out. It looks great and really freshens up the theater,” said Greg Mills, Chief Operating Officer of High Rock Holdings. “Headed into the busiest time of the year for movie-going, the Spring and Summer, our customers can continue to sit back, relax and watch great movies.”

In addition to more comfortable seating, Leitersburg Cinemas also announced Healthy Menu Options for patrons. The new menu features air-popped popcorn, low sugar drink options and a healthy kids snack in their popular Kids Pack. The company kicked off the idea by having a roundtable discussion with local health professionals and vendors, working with HEAL of Washington County on a marketing initiative.

“It’s very progressive to offer these healthy options in an industry known for not-so-healthy food and drink options. We love the fact that patrons can decide to eat healthier and the costs remain the same,” said Greg Mills.

“We believe we’re one of the first movie theaters in the country to install an air-popped popcorn machine. So far the feedback has been overwhelming positive.”

Reopened in 2010 by Rich Daughtridge and Dave Schleigh, Leitersburg Cinemas has seen great success – including exceeding national averages.  The owners attribute the success to a supportive community, VIP seating, affordable pricing, and ongoing facility improvements. 

Leitersburg Cinemas is located at 20145 Leitersburg Pike in Hagerstown, Maryland.  For more information, visit LeitersburgCinemas.com or Facebook.com/LeitersburgCinemas.