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CVB & Hagerstown Suns Unveil 2016 Bobble Head, Monday, Aug. 1

HAGERSTOWN, MD – The media and public are invited to the unveiling of Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) Official Hagerstown Suns 2016 bobble head. Please NOTE: The unveiling event will take place on Monday, August 1, 1:30 PM at the Visitor Welcome Center located at 6 North Potomac Street in Hagerstown. Suns representatives, including Wooley Bee, will be on hand to participate in the unveiling. Free tickets to the game on August 13th will also be given away.

The CVB partners annually with the Hagerstown Suns in this promotion, and it is traditionally of a figure who is well known, either historically, or living, and has impacted Washington County in a significant way.

Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau will present the bobble heads to the first 1,000 fans arriving at the Hagerstown Suns’ 7:05 p.m. game against the Ashville Tourists on Saturday, August 13, 2016.  Gates will open at Municipal Stadium at 6:05 p.m., and the Suns advise fans to arrive early, as the supply of bobble heads is not expected to last long.

“Visit Hagerstown is very proud to be the sponsor of this bobble head giveaway. This is our 11th in a series of bobble heads that depict people who have made a significant impact on Washington County,” CVB President Dan Spedden said.

“This project is normally several months in the making,” according to Hagerstown Suns General Manager, Travis Painter. “We’ve been working very hard with the CVB to make this bobble head ready for the August 13th home game.”

About the Hagerstown Suns:

The Hagerstown Suns play at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and are a Class “A” affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Visit the Suns on the web at http://www.hagerstownsuns.com.

About Visit Hagerstown:

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. Visit Hagerstown helps to create growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about the CVB, or to see events coming up throughout Washington County, go to http://www.visithagerstown.com.


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Maryland Symphony Orchestra Announces Schedule For 35th Anniversary Season

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - July 24, 2016 - Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra have unveiled their 2016-2017 season. Fourteen concerts will be presented at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. The symphony celebrates its 35th anniversary with an array of extraordinary guest artists and concert experiences.

The season features Masterworks concerts paying tribute to the core classical repertoire, music from Grammy Award winning composer Chris Brubeck, a powerful, high definition musical journey through the universe accompanying a performance of Holst’s The Planets, a tribute to the legends of country music, familiar music from the Eagles multi-platinum album Hotel California, and a musical celebration of Christmas that has become one of the area’s favorite holiday traditions. The 2016-2017 Maryland Symphony Orchestra season was specifically programmed to accompany and build excitement for the unveiling of the orchestra’s vibrant new logo and rebranding campaign that was unveiled to the public on July 2 at the annual Salute to Independence concert at Antietam National Battlefield.

The 35th Anniversary Season gets underway on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18 when the Maryland Symphony Orchestra presents the first of the season’s Masterworks concerts with a special event called “Classics and Crabs,” a celebration of all things Maryland. From Maryland crabs to Maryland microbrews to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, this special event includes a pre-concert beer festival in the Maryland Theatre courtyard, courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery; a special Masterworks concert featuring the eclectic mix of classical crossover superstars Time for Three, and a work written especially for the them by Grammy Award winning composer and jazz musician Chris Brubeck. The orchestra will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor. The evening concludes with a post-concert street festival and crab feed under the stars on South Potomac Street. The Sunday, September 18 concert does not include pre or post-concert activities.

The season continues on Saturday, October 15 with “Country Legends.” Nashville performers Rachel Potter (The X Factor) and Patrick Thomas (The Voice) guest star in a tribute to the greatest performers in country music. With selections from famed singers and songwriters like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Faith Hill and Tennessee Ford, this show will leave your boots knocking, your heart pumping, and your country soul content. Classics such as “Crazy,” “Jolene,” “On the Road Again,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” & “Ring of Fire” will be performed.

On Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13 international concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine will be performing as a soloist in Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No 1. Heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks, Pine thrills audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and emotional honesty. With an infectious joy in music-making and a passion for connecting historical research to performance, Pine transforms audiences’ experiences of classical music. She has been hailed by the Washington Post as having “power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon.” The orchestra will also be performing Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.

The region’s most popular Christmas concerts, “Home for the Holidays,” will be held on Saturday December 17 and Sunday, December 18. This longtime holiday crowd-pleaser has become a tradition for many families throughout the four-state region. The orchestra is incredibly excited to welcome Tony Award nominee Christiane Noll to perform as the featured guest vocalist. Noll was nominated for “Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical” for her role in Ragtime on Broadway. She has also appeared in Broadway shows like Jekyll & Hyde, It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues, and off-Broadway in Call the Children Home, A Fine & Private Place, and Frankenstein. Noll will be joined by local choirs to offer a delightful mix of carols, seasonal favorites, and the popular sing-a-long with Father Christmas himself, Santa Claus.

The Masterworks concerts continue on February 11 and February 12 with “Romantic Rachmaninoff”, featuring pianist Andrew Staupe performing as a soloist on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Having performed to high praise in concert halls around the country, Staupe brings his powerful and passionate performance style to the Maryland Theatre for a weekend of romantic music to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The orchestra will also perform Griffes’s Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan andStrauss’s Don Juan.

Prepare yourself to explore the mysteries of the solar system on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 as the Maryland Symphony Orchestra presents a full-sensory experience featuring NASA HD video footage to accompany Holst’s’ out-of-this-world The Planets. This will be a musical journey through the cosmos you certainly don’t want to miss. This concert will feature special guests and astronomers from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. The orchestra will complete this cosmic themed, musical experience with performances of Howe’s The Stars and Brouwer’s Pluto.

Groundbreaking sounds of classic rock will fill the Maryland Theatre on Saturday, April 8 with a “Tribute to the Eagles;” saluting one of the world’s most successful and widely loved rock bands of the 1970’s. Joined by rock band Jeans ‘n Classics, Elizabeth Schulze conducts the Maryland Symphony Orchestra as they capture the Eagles’ impeccable riffs and timeless vocal harmonies in all the classics, including “Hotel California,” “Desperado,” “New Kid in Town,” and “The Boys Of Summer.” Get ready to “Take It Easy,” and relive some of the greatest songs of the ‘70s.

The 35th season comes to a close with “A Fifth of Beethoven” on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. This final weekend is coupled with “Prelude to Preakness,” a special event themed around the Annual Running of the Preakness. On Saturday, concertgoers can experience the trifecta with a wine and cheese tasting festival featuring Antietam Highlands and other local wineries; a MSO Masterworks concert featuring pianist Yulia Gorenman performing Beethoven’s familiar Piano Concerto No. 5; and a special post-concert event with food and beverages on South Potomac Street. The orchestra will also perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The Sunday, May 14 concert does not include pre or post-concert activities.

Single tickets and subscriptions are on sale now for ALL concerts. Single tickets may be purchased online at http://www.marylandsymphony.org, by phone at (301) 797-4000 x101, or in person at the orchestra’s administrative offices located at 30 West Washington Street in downtown Hagerstown. Tickets for children and students to all Masterworks concerts are FREE and can be reserved in advance by calling the box office.

Patrons looking to save money on their ticket purchase should consider our “Create Your Own” subscription package. With the purchase of just three (3) or more concerts, a 15% discount will be applied to the entire ticket order. Flexibility is given to mix and match any of our Masterworks, Popular Works, or Holiday concerts. Additional subscriber benefits include discounted service fees all season long, complimentary tickets for friends and family, priority seating, and more.

All performances are held at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. Masterworks concerts typically begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Due to the special events scheduled during this upcoming season, some performance times may vary. All popular works concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and are one night only. The “Home for the Holidays” concert begins at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Artists and programs are subject to change without notice.

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze 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 30 minute talk is free to all ticket holders.

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

Founded in 1982, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 35th season as the area’s premier professional orchestra. Under the musical direction of Maestra Elizabeth Schulze, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing musical performances that educate and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region.


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Happy Retreat Craft Beer And Music Festival Announces Musical Lineup

Jefferson County West Virginia’s first ever beer and music festival will feature 4 regional touring bands as well as 20 brewers with over 40 different beers to sample.

On Saturday, September 10, 2016, Charles Town will host Jefferson County West Virginia’s first ever beer and music festival.  The festival will be hosted on the grounds of Happy Retreat, the historic home of Charles Washington, brother of George Washington and the town’s founder.  Happy Retreat was recently announced as West Virginia’s first National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The event will run from 11 AM to 6 PM and feature 4 regional touring bands, The Hillbilly Gypsies, The Woodshedders, Dale and The ZDubs and The Woo Yeahs.  In addition to the great music, the festival will feature 20 regional and national brewers who will have over 40 different varieties of craft beer to sample throughout the day.  The event will also feature local food vendors and will offer tours of the historic house.  Tickets are available online for $20, which includes a commemorative beer sampling glass and 3 beer sample tickets.  Additional sample tickets can be purchased at the event.  Non-drinking tickets are $15, which will allow visitors to enjoy the music and food.

All proceeds from the event will go to Friends of Happy Retreat which is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to restore historic Happy Retreat to serve as a vibrant center of cultural life and community gatherings.  “This is a great location for a beer festival; we are within a one hour drive from most of the DC and Baltimore metro areas which have witnessed a huge increase in craft breweries over the past 5 years” said Josh Vance, owner of Front Porch Brewing Co who is helping to coordinate the event.  “An event like this is long overdue for this part of the state and we think that it will have a little bit of something for everybody.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at https://www.missiontix.com/events/product/34488/happy-retreat-craft-beer-and-music-festival and full information on the event can be found at the Happy Retreat Facebook page or at http://www.happyretreat.org

Happy Retreat is the historic home of Charles Washington, brother of George Washington and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Friends of Happy Retreat is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to restoring and preserving the property of Happy Retreat


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Open Jury Call for Artists: Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Arts Council seeks submissions from artists and artisans for an open jury call for the Berkeley Art Works co-op group.

The Berkeley Art Works is located at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV and is a project of the Berkeley Arts Council. The co-op space in the gallery currently has one open space each for a two-dimensional artist and a three-dimensional artist.

At this time we are not jurying photography or jewelry.

Participating artists and artisans must be or become members of the Berkeley Arts Council, pay a monthly fee for display space and a 20% commission on sales, and agree to sit in the gallery 1-2 days per month.

Details and forms are available at http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/artists.php.

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

With wireless devices more prevalent than ever, National Cellphone Courtesy Month provides an opportunity for smartphone users to reevaluate their “mobile manners” and ensure they’re aware of common etiquette tips. A recent U.S. Cellular survey1 reveals the very people who get upset with others’ cellphone etiquette breaches may be just as guilty of the same offenses they are most annoyed by. These findings serve as a reminder to all users to be mindful of their own cellphone etiquette.

“At U.S. Cellular we believe mobile devices operating on a high-quality 4G LTE network with nationwide coverage can improve quality of life and simplify tasks like traveling, shopping and staying up to date on the latest news,” says Nathan Waddell, DOS for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. “When cellphone etiquette is kept top of mind, people can make sure that their device use enhances the time spent with family and friends, as opposed to taking away from it.”

To help facilitate cellphone use that supports better connections, U.S. Cellular has developed a few easy tips for practicing good “mobile manners” in order to not annoy others: 

Respond in a Timely Manner: No one likes waiting too long for a response to a text, so it’s best to glance at your text message inbox pretty regularly. In fact, 94 percent of smartphone users prefer a response within an hour, so it’s considerate to respond to any text messages in a timely manner.

Put the Phone Away While Walking: According to the U.S. Cellular survey, 57 percent of smartphone users are annoyed by people who focus on their phone rather than what is in front of them. Considering that 23 percent of survey respondents admit they have personally walked into someone or something while they were on their phone, it may be a good idea to put the phone away and focus on where you are going.

Enjoy the Company In Front of You: As annoying as it can be to see someone glued to their phone when they are on the move, 57 percent are annoyed when people seem focused on checking their phone when they are out and about with company. Forty-four percent admit to checking their own phones to avoid conversation. While in a social setting, it is good practice to put away all phones and enjoy time with friends and family, particularly in restaurants where 28 percent of people think that others have the worst cellphone etiquette.

While these suggested tips can help enhance mobile etiquette, don’t forget to also be mindful of other behaviors that cause frustration, such as texting late at night, leaving a voice mail instead of texting, calling in response to a text or texting in response to a voice mail, and even using abbreviations and emoticons.


¹ Between Nov. 12-21, 2015, a total of 735 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.
 
Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service may be provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About King Street Wireless, L.P.
King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets.  King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia where it is recognized for its involvement in its community both through its economic development and philanthropic efforts. To learn more about King Street Wireless, visit http://www.kingstreetwireless.com.

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, and currently, 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. 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.

For more information, contact the Martinsburg U.S. Cellular store at 940 Foxcroft Ave., Martinsburg, WV 25401, phone: 304.264.0400


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7th Annual Identity Crisis Fundraiser

Nothing but Head Games at the 7th Annual Identity Crisis Fundraiser, The Victory Project’s premier fundraising event for BCA-CV.

Shepherdstown, WV - Saturday, August 13 6pm-midnight

Head gear has long held a place in history, distinguishing eras, echelon, rank and culture. Whether utilitarian in nature, for fun, sport, fashion, protection or adornment, humans have traditionally been compelled to dress up their heads. Masks and even war paint have been used to disguise, for entertainment purposes, job needs, and as a means of self-expression.

With a long history of creative costuming, year seven of Identity Crisis celebrates the power of head decor with this year’s theme, “Head Games: 7th Annual Identity Crisis Fundraiser”. The event will take place in Historic Downtown Shepherdstown on August 13th from 6pm – midnight and includes VIP pre-party, red carpet arrival with motorcade, discounts at participating businesses, photo booth fun, dance party and more!

The Identity Crisis Fundraiser shines the spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness – Cumberland Valley and helps to raise funds for the organization so that they can continue to offer FREE services to those in need. Breast Cancer Awareness – Cumberland Valley is an important and vital resource, offering much needed support and services such as wigs, hats & turbans, prostheses, house cleaning, meal assistance and so much more.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 13th and buy your tickets today! Excellent food, entertainment, outstanding people watching and good times will be had throughout the town. So, wig out, throw on a fedora, don a horse head; be as outrageous or as simple as you want to be…just come out, have fun and show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley.

For more information, visit the event website http://www.IdentityCrisisWV.com.

Victory Project Inc.
Tara Lowe - Director
Phone:  304-876-8300
Email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website:  identitycrisiswv.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IdentityCrisisWV/?fref=ts


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Berkeley Art Works Reception for “The Art of the Portrait”

Now showing at the Berkeley Art Works is “The Art of the Portrait”, an exhibit of portraits by local and regional artists. Also on display in the “Back Space” gallery is “Square Seasons” a exhibit of 20 square-format photographs by Gary Bergel reflecting, documenting, and exploring squared-off seasons, days, and moments natural, cultural, pyschological, and spriritual.

The gallery, which is located at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV, is open Wed-Thu 11-5, Fri 11-8 and and Sat 11-4.

There will be a reception on Friday, July 22, from 5-7pm to view the artwork and meet some of the artists. Light refreshments will be available and the reception is free and open to the public.

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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Flood of Relief Concert Raises $6000.00 for WV Flood Recovery

On Saturday, July 9, Front Porch Live, in collaboration with Sammi Brown were able to generate over $6000.00 in donations that will be used to aid in the recovery of the recent flooding in Southern, West Virginia. The event was named Flood of Relief and was held at Longshots Billiards in Charles Town. Many local residents were in attendance to show their solidarity with those affected by the tragic flooding in West Virginia. There were 8 regional bands that donated their time and talent for the 10 hour concert. Christopher Leipold, owner of Anywhere Studios, ran sound for the event. In addition to the music, a silent auction was set up for patrons to bid on various local items. Over 30 local merchants donated over 50 items that were auctioned off during the event.

Sammi Brown, candidate for the House of Delegates in the 65th District which includes Charles Town and Ranson, worked the door collecting donations as patrons arrived. She was overjoyed at the outpouring of love and support for our fellow West Virginians. There was no set denomination for donation, but many opened their hearts and wallets giving $20’s and writing checks. “Our community did not disappoint. That kind of generosity is absolutely humbling,” Sammi stated. “Not only that, but the artists that played, and the local businesses that donated their goods to the raffle, everyone came together to produce an incredible event. Thank you to everyone involved.”

This donation will be presented to Aurora Lights, a non‐profit organization that is a leading effort in assisting with the flood relief in WV.

Front Porch Live is the live music arm of the future microbrewery, Front Porch Brewing Co, in Charles Town. Information about future events can be found at facebook.com/frontporchbrewingco

Front Porch Live produces live music events specializing in fundraising concerts at music venues around the eastern panhandle

Front Porch Brewing Co is a microbrewery in downtown Charles Town, currently in construction with an estimated opening date of fall 2016.


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Exploring Downtown Martinsburg with Pokémon GO

I spent an hour walking around downtown Martinsburg today with my son and daughter in mid-80’s heat with no discernible destination. As you would expect, with all of the walking and lunch passing us by, someone finally relented and decided it was time to go back to the office. That someone was me.

I know, sounds unimaginable, right? A 9 year old and a 6 year old wanted to walk around town in July heat, while skipping lunch. What could cause this? Pokémon GO.

What is Pokémon GO?

For those that are unfamiliar, Pokémon is a card playing game in which you collect characters and then use them to battle each other. Each character has special powers as indicated on the card. It’s also a cartoon (or feature-length commercial, which is how my kids first became aware of Pokémon).

Pokémon GO is a mobile, augmented reality app that turns the real world into a Pokémon hunt. It’s also a cultural phenomenon.

According to mashable.com, “since the release of Pokémon Go a few days ago, Nintendo has added $7 billion to the value of the company, creating an app that allows users to get as close as they’d ever imagined to being a Pokémon catcher. The app, which allows users to catch Pokémon in real-life environments viewable on a smart device, has become a cultural sensation for people of all ages, especially those who grew up collecting the cards and initiating battles against their friends in the schoolyard. As of Monday afternoon, the game has also become the top-grossing game in each country where it has been released: The U.S., Australia and New Zealand.”

How does it work?

Using GPS and your smartphone camera, you hunt for those same characters while exploring the real world. Once you find a Pokémon, you then capture it and add it to your collection and eventually battle others and their Pokémon.

Using the app, you walk around an area (in our case, downtown Martinsburg) searching for Pokémon characters which pop up on the map. The app itself displays a simple GPS map, similar to what you would find on Google Maps minus the street names. Using the touch interface, you can zoom and pan around your location to search for available characters or points of interest. Points of interest usually feature a Pokémon Gym or PokéStops which players can visit to stock up on free items like PokéBalls.

After checking the map, we saw a few points of interest that were identified on the map including Trinity Episcopal Church, the Martinsburg Public Library and the Apollo Theatre. Tapping on the location brings up a picture of the location (see photo above showing Trinity Episcopal Church), its name and a bit about it. Each of the locations had a character nearby so we decided to head down King St. toward the library.

Once you decide on a direction, you begin walking to the location. As you walk, leaving the app open (yeah, this is a real battery killer), you are notified via a chime from the app that you are in the vicinity of a character. You then begin throwing PokéBalls at it until you trap it. Some are easier to trap than others and can be caught with a single ball. The more powerful characters tend to take more balls and can escape. Watching the thrown balls bounce off of a character and roll down the sidewalk makes for a very engaging experience. Once you capture a character it is added to your inventory.

As we walked between locations looking for Pokémon to catch, my daughter (9 years old) remarked that it was a good way to explore Martinsburg and my son (6 years old) chimed in that it was a good way to get exercise. I couldn’t agree more.

The GO fever continued after we got home. We generally take a walk around the neighborhood every night making one or two laps. This evening, the kids asked if they could walk around the neighborhood with their friends trying to find Pokémon. The did two laps on their own and then asked if we could take another walk as a family. We ended up doing two more laps until we could no longer find any Pokémon to capture.

In all, my kids probably walked an extra 3-4 miles today, unprompted and without complaint. Whether Pokémon GO survives long-term is hard to say but I can see it being a popular summertime diversion and a great way to get exercise!

Pokémon GO Video

I decided to take some video of the game for those that are unfamiliar with it. The first video, “Abby Catches Pidgey in Pokémon GO” does the best job of showing off the augmented reality feature. The sun was working against us in the other videos.


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Razor & Tie Music Publishing Announce Signing Of Singer-Songwriter Christian Lopez

New York, NY – Razor & Tie Music Publishing (RTMP) is proud to announce the signing of singer songwriter Christian Lopez. The West Virginia native released his debut full-length record Onward in May 2015 via Blaster Records. Rolling Stone Country recognized him as “Best Newcomer” at Americana Music Fest in 2015 and Alternate Root proclaimed him one of its Top 25 artists the same year. Lopez is managed by Rock Ridge Music. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Christian on the RTMP team. He is a true artist, heart and soul… the whole package – incredible vocalist, songwriter, musician and performer. We’ll all be talking about him for years to come,” says Brad Kennard, Razor & Tie Music Publishing’s VP of Creative. 

Lopez says,” I’m honored to be working with such a passionate and prestigious publishing company. Not only is Razor & Tie just that, but they’re staffed with truly amazing people that I’m so glad to have on my team. I’m excited for our future together, and even more excited about the songs to come.” 

Growing up in West Virginia, Christian Lopez was influenced by the traditional Appalachian folk music of his upbringing. He began playing piano at the age of five and picked up guitar the following year, eventually leading to playing in several local bands throughout his teenage years. Eventually Lopez emerged to center stage, performing his own music as the Christian Lopez Band. Lopez released his debut full-length record Onward in May 2015 via Blaster Records. The record was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson). Lopez and his band have toured continually since the release, opening dates for artists including American Aquarium, The Black Lillies, John Fulbright, Mary Stuart, Miranda Lambert and more. 

Razor & Tie Music Publishing

Razor & Tie Music Publishing has distinguished itself with a focused, proactive approach to artist career development, cross-format songwriting, multi-media song placement and comprehensive royalty administration. The company is led by a seasoned and energetic executive team with representatives in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. RTMP has scored numerous number one multi-platinum hits in multiple formats, including “Home”, co-written by Greg Holden and performed by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, “Whiskey In My Water,” performed by Tyler Farr and co-written by Phillip Larue, and many more.   

For more information visit:  http://www.razorandtiemusicpublishing.com

Photo: L-R: Jen Duke (Creative Manager, RTMP), Christian Lopez, Brad Kennard (VP Creative, RTMP) – Photo Credit: Natalie Sinclaire
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Operation Backpack to Support Southern WV Students Impacted by Flooding

The last thing on the minds of parents, as they’re cleaning up from the devastating flood, is getting their kids ready for school; which starts in approximately 6 weeks. So, Asbury UMC in Charles Town is collecting backpacks for students who were impacted by the recent WV flooding. Please purchase a backpack and fill with the suggested contents (download PDF with list of items to include - please refrain from including liquids, candy or food).

Once your backpack is complete, please tie a colored ribbon on the top of the bag to distinguish its intended grade-level. Then deliver your backpack to Asbury UMC in Charles Town (M-F 9-3 and Sundays 8:30-12) and we will deliver them to impacted students before the 2016 school year begins.

Email Asbury UMC at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 304-725-5513 with any questions. Thanks and God Bless!


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“The Company We Keep” - An Exhibition of Paintings, Prints, Photographs & Turned Wood

“The Company We Keep” - An Exhibition of Paintings, Prints, Photographs & Turned Wood By Susan Carney, Sarah Huntington, Dave Kiser, and Neil Super at the Shepherdstown Community Club, Thursday, July 14th through Sunday, July 17th.


The Shepherdstown Community Club (War Memorial Building), 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV, hosts a four day exhibition of new works by artists Susan Carney, Sarah Huntington, Dave Kiser, and Neil Super. The exhibit runs Thursday, July 14th through Sunday, July 17th. Exhibit hours are 10am-8pm Thursday and Friday, 9am-9pm Saturday, and 9am-5pm Sunday.

There will be an OPENING RECEPTION on Saturday, July 16th, from 5pm-9pm with live music and refreshments.

Susan Carney’s paintings and unique monotype prints utilize watercolor, spray paint, acrylic paint, varnish and collage in combination with wood, canvas and paper to explore natural themes in complex, layered images that provide symbolic connections between ancestors and the natural world. Carney, who lives and works in Shepherdstown, received her M.F.A. from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Among other venues, her work is displayed at the Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown, and the Ice House Artist’s Co-op, in Berkeley Springs.

Sarah Huntington, a portrait photographer in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC, area, has been voted in a reader’s poll by Leesburg Today as the “Best Photographer in Loudon County” for ten consecutive years. A native of South Carolina, Sarah is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, in Washington, DC, and shows and sells her work in her Purcellville studio and at various galleries in the metropolitan area. Sarah has collaborated with Susan Carney in the past, and the two artists have influenced one another over the years. Her newest work is an amalgam of images both from film and digital files, layered in subtle ways to depict the complexities of what is seen.

Dave Kiser, of Leesburg, VA, is a graphic designer and photographer with a background in lithography, silk screening and offset printing, among other disciplines. He has spent years working with other artists (and musicians) helping to develop their work, in particular using computers to do “back end” work on photographs taken by others. After several visits to the 9/11 Memorial in New York, Dave began photographing the reflected images of buildings around Ground Zero, convinced that people are struck by the notion that the surrounding architecture is just as important as the Memorial itself, in the sense that changes over time show how a city - and its people - can rebuild and grow again.

Neil Super is a self-taught wood turner who uses the downed wood from trees at local historic landmarks to create bowls and other vessels with which he seeks to provide the viewer with both a historical context and a personal connection to the provenance of everyday, useful objects. He especially likes to reveal the hidden natural beauty and unique character inherent in so-called “defects” in a piece of wood. Super, whose work may be found at the Bridge Gallery and the Ice House Artist’s Co-Op, lives and works in Shepherdstown.

For Further Information see:
http://www.susancarney.com 
http://www.sarahhuntington.com
http://www.tworiversturnings.com


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News and Events from Berkeley Arts Council

Berkeley Arts Council News

July 13-August 14 “The Art of the Portrait

The Berkeley Arts Council presents “The Art of the Portrait”, a juried exhibit of portraits in paintings, photographs and mixed media. The exhibit will be on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The Arts Council accepted submissions with no entry fee and the work was juried by a panel of artists who are members of the Art Works co-op group, who will also have work in the exhibit. Please join us for a reception on Friday, July 22 from 5-7pm. The reception is free and open to the public. (We offer these “no entry fee” exhibits from time to time to encourage artists to submit without risk. We ask accepted artists to make whatever donation they can afford when they deliver the finished work. We also appreciate donations from the public to support the gallery.)

July 13-August 14 “Square Seasons”
The Berkeley Arts Council presents “Squre Seasons” by Gary Bergel. “Square Seasons” is an exhibit of 20 square-format photographs reflecting, documenting, and exploring squared-off seasons, days, and moments natural, cultural, pyschological, and spriritual.

Gary Bergel, is an artist, educator, curator, and a member of the Berkeley Art Works co-op group. The reception will be Friday, July 22 from 5-7pm at the Berkeley Art Works.

New Class Starting July 14

Art Student Continuing Improvement Workshop
Thursdays, 1-4 PM. July 14, 21, August 4, 19 (Four Weeks)*
Instructor: Judith Becker
* (Make-up dates July 22 and August 26)

For details visit artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/.
Calls for Artists: “Heavy Metal” Juried Railroad Art Exhibit, Fourth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit

Do you shop on Amazon?
Of course, we encourage you to support local businesses whenever you can, but if you shop on Amazon.com, register as a supporter of the Berkeley Arts Council and Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the Berkeley Arts Council. Just go to smile.amazon.com. If you are not already signed up, register to support the Berkeley Arts Council. If you are already signed up, you can shop as usual and your purchases will automatically be assigned to benefit the Berkeley Arts Council. Every little bit helps. Thanks!

New Regular Hours at the Berkeley Art Works
Wednesday 11-5; Thursday 11-5; Friday 11-8; Saturday, 11-4; (or by appointment) Sunday-Monday-Tuesday Closed

Like us on Facebook! The Berkeley Arts Council has a Facebook page. Go there and “Like” us to show your support and and get the latest news from the Berkeley Arts Council. http://www.facebook.com/BerkeleyArtsWV. Please also read this about how to make sure you see our posts

Art Exhibits

Last Week!June 8-July 9: Photo16

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces its 2016 National Juried Photography Exhibit, to be displayed in the Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The exhibit will be on display June 8 - July 9, 2016. Accepted artists are listed on artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/photo16/

June 8-July 9: Blue Ridge CTC Students

Students from the Creativity, Color and Design course at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College are exhibiting works in various media, ranging from drawing, collage, oil pastel, oil paint, acrylic paint, liquid acrylic and resin, and mixed media in the “Back Space” gallery at the Berkeley Art Works.

July 1 - 31

Julie Maynard’s Mass Produced Pigeons and Charles Bowers’ Nature’s Colors. Two new solo exhibitions at TAG/The Artists Gallery: Julie Maynard’s Mass Produced Pigeons (collage, sculpture) and Charlie Bowers’ Nature’s Colors (photo-based transfers). 216 N. Market Street, Frederick. Fri.- Sat., noon-9pm, Sun. 12-5pm free 301-395-3855; theartistsgalleryfrederick.com
or juliemayn@gmail .com

July 13-August 14 “The Art of the Portrait

The Berkeley Arts Council presents “The Art of the Portrait”, a juried exhibit of portraits in paintings, photographs and mixed media. The exhibit will be on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The Arts Council accepted submissions with no entry fee and the work was juried by a panel of artists who are members of the Art Works co-op group, who will also have work in the exhibit. Please join us for a reception on Friday, July 22 from 5-7pm. The reception is free and open to the public. (We offer these “no entry fee” exhibits from time to time to encourage artists to submit without risk. We ask accepted artists to make whatever donation they can afford when they deliver the finished work. We also appreciate donations from the public to support the gallery.)

July 13-August 14 New Work by Gary Bergel

The Berkeley Arts Council presents “Squre Seasons” by Gary Bergel. “Square Seasons” is an exhibit of 20 square-format photographs reflecting, documenting, and exploring squared-off seasons, days, and moments natural, cultural, pyschological, and spriritual.
  Gary Bergel, an artist, educator, curator, and a member of the Berkeley Art Works co-op group. The reception will be Friday, July 22 from 5-7pm at the Berkeley Art Works.

July 14 - 17
“The Company We Keep”
- An exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and turned wood By Susan Carney, Sarah Huntington, Dave Kiser, and Neil Super. War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV Thurs-Fri: 10-8, Sat: 9-9, Sun: 9-5 Shepherdstown Community Club. 304-279-0506 or tworiversturnings (at) yahoo .com

July 22 - 24
Fine Art Show and Sale by Potomac River Artists Guild, featuring the work of 20 regional artists at the Shepherdstown Community Center (War Memorial Building) 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, WV Reception Saturday at 3 pm. 304-671-1669 or potomacriverartistsguild.org.

Special Events

July 8
Second Friday Poetry Reading
Beginning at 6:30 pm, come sign in, meet our newest interest group and share your enjoyment of poetry, serious or fun, passionate or simple and enduring. Until 8:00 or so, reading in order of signing in. The evening is free and open to the public. (Donations to support the Art Works are appreciated.) Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg.

July 8 - 10
Over The Mountain Studio Tour Summer Preview Show.  All participants in one location: War Memorial Building, 102 E German St, Shepherdstown Shepherdstown, WV Friday, July 8, 5 to 7 pm, Saturday July 9, 10 - 6 pm, Sunday 10-4 pm Free 800-624-0577; studiotourwv.org or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

August 5 - 6
Summertime Arts Soiree. Gala fundraiser on Friday evening, including art show & sale, live music and delicious hors d’oeuvres. Free Art Show on Saturday.  Old Opera House - Charles Town 6-9pm Friday; 10am-2pm Saturday $37.50 Friday; FREE on Saturday. 304-725-4420; http://www.oldoperahouse.org or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

August 6 - 13
Apollo Civic Theatre at Berkeley County Youth Fair. Visit our booth for your copy of the new season brochure, get theatre information, sign-up for Haunted Theatre auditions, or get your face painted by a Haunted Theatre make-up artist. Commercial Building, Berkeley County Youth Fair Sat - Sat, 5-10 pm Apollo Civic Theatre Fair admission fee: $5 for 13 and older, Free for 12 and under 304-263-6766; apollocivictheatre.org or act (at) apollocivictheatre .org

Music and Dance

Dance
June 20 - Aug 10
Dance Class
Leap into Summer with Dance!
Now enrolling for summer. New to dance? Come try a class! Current dancer? Come try a new style… Summer workshops for ages 3-high school. Dance Dimensions is celebrating its 10th anniversary offering ballet, jazz, tap, modern and hip hop. Dance Dimensions in Eagle Plaza, Hedgesville vary by workshop Dance Dimensions of Hedgesville, LLC vary by workshop, $13 and up 304-671-3688; dancewv.com or emily@dancewv .com

July 11 - 29
Summer Dance 2016.  Our Summer Dance Program will provide students at each level special opportunities to broaden and enrich their dance education in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, character, modern and conditioning. Inwood Performing Arts Monday-Friday 9:00-4:00pm Inwood Performing Arts Company $160-$680 304-229-3209; http://www.inwoodperformingarts.com  or wsmith2954@aol .com

August 1 - 5
Dancing the Classics.  Students will be introduced to the French the vocabulary, listen to stories, music and explore mime relating to that day’s theme.  The program encourages confidence, creativity, flexibility of movement and self-expression. Inwood Performing Arts Monday-Friday 9:00-11:30am Inwood Performing Arts Company $140 304-229-3209; http://www.inwoodperformingarts.com  or wsmith2954@aol .com

August 2-6
Irish Dance Camp. Workshop will focus on technique of the traditional Irish dances including foot speed, style and patterns. Dancers will enjoy ceili dancing and our Ballet for Irish which enhances strength, flexibility and promotes injury prevention. Inwood Performing Arts Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-2:00pm Inwood Performing Arts Company $175 304-229-3209; http://www.inwoodperformingarts.com  or wsmith2954 (at) aol .com

August 8 - 12
Week with the Masters. Join master teachers Katia Garza- former Orlando Ballet, Elijah Gibson- former Gus Gordiano Jazz Dance Chicago and Eddy Ocampo- Level Dance Chicago for a week of professional instruction in Ballet, Contemporary and Modern. Inwood Performing Arts Monday-Friday 9:30-4:00 pm Inwood Dance Company $300 304-229-3209;www.inwoodperformingarts.com or wsmith2954 (at) aol .com

Theatre

July 16
Elf, Jr. The Musical. The fan favorite movie “Elf” brought to life on stage. This funny and witty show is appropriate for all ages.  Musselman Auditorium Inwood, WV Saturday only at 2PM and 7PM Musselman Theatre, Inc. Artistic Endeavors Junior Academy Adults $8, Seniors and Children $5 (304) 229-1900; http://www.musselmantheatreinc.com or musselmantheatre (at) comcast .net

July 21 - 24
All Shook Up. The 2016 Apollo Youth Theatre Workshop, comprised of 63 students, entering fourth grade to finishing twelfth grade, presents this musical inspired by and featuring songs of Elvis Presley.  Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 East Martin Street, Martinsburg, WV Thur-Sat, July 21-23, 7:30pm; Sun, July 24, 2:30pm Apollo Youth Summer Theatre Workshop Online: Adults-$10, Students-$5; Box Office: Adults $12, Students-$7 304-263-6766; apollocivictheatre.org or act (at) apollocivictheatre .org

July 28 - 31
Disney’s The Little Mermaid . Disney’s classic animated feature comes to the stage in this beautiful musical adaptation. Old Opera House - Charles Town 7:30pm Thurs & Fri; 1:30pm Saturday; 2:30pm Sunday $19 Adults, $12 Children 304-725-4420; http://www.oldoperahouse.org or ooh (at) oldoperahouse .org

‘Specially for Kids
July 2 - August 28
“The 3 Pigs Circus.” The pigs are in town for a ‘Hog Wild’ Circus. Wonderment Theater 412 W King Street, Martinsburg. Show Time Sat and Sun at 1pm Doors open 20 mins before show $6. for 2 years and up 304-258-4074; http://www.wondermentpuppets.com or wondermentpuppets (at) yahoo .com
Opportunities: Classes, Workshops, Calls for Artists

Deadline July 18: Call for Artists: “Heavy Metal” Juried Railroad Art Exhibit

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Call for Entries for “Heavy Metal”, a juried exhibit of railroad art to be on display from August 31 through October 1, 2016 in the special exhibit gallery space at the Berkeley Art Works.

The exhibit is open nationally to all visual artists over the age of 18 in all media. We seek to present an exhibit of artworks in a wide range of media and techniques that celebrates the diverse rail heritage in the United States.

Entries are now open until July 18, 2016. Details, full prospectus, and online entry is http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/hmetal/.

Deadline August 24: Call for Artists: Fourth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Fourth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit, to be displayed in the Berkeley Art Works Gallery Martinsburg. The exhibition will be on display October 5 - November 5, 2016.

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.

Entries are now open until August 24, 2016. Details, full prospectus, and online entry is http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/ewvexhibit/.

August 14
Art Day at the Roundhouse. Call for artists: Artists and photographers are invited to come to the Martinsburg Roundhouse to draw, paint, photograph, or otherwise capture the historic B&O Roundhouse. Participating artists will have access to the full facility, including areas not normally open for tours. Participating artists will also be invited to show their work in the Roundhouse during the month of September starting on September 5. in and around the Martinsburg Roundhouse Sunday, 10 am-5 pm $20.00 donation; http://martinsburgroundhouse.com; RoundhouseChair (at) gmail .com

September 9 - 11
Northern Appalachian Folk Festival seeks Artists and Craftsmen, Individuals/Organizations interested in selling, conducting demonstrations or workshops or having a table/educational display. Event features free live music, exhibits and demonstrations, workshops and vendors. Children’s Alley activities are popular with younger festival goers. Downtown Indiana, PA 10 am-8:30 pm. FREE 724-463-6110; https://northernappfolkfest.org/ or NorthernAppFolkFest (at) gmail .com

September 30-October 1
Plein-air Painting in Green Bank,WV. a free 2 day painting workshop in plein-air for all media with local historians talking about our rural community with pre-civil war buildings. Green Bank, WV Friday and Sat. 10 am-4pm Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2016 Pocahontas County CVB. 304-799-4636; NaturesMountainPlayground.com/CalPrice or kathryn (at) pocahontasarts .org

Call for Artists
1/1/2017 to 12/31/2017 Art in the Library. Art shows at South Jefferson Public Library. Artists interested in showing for a two-month window in our meeting room. All art will hang from chains on the walls so items would have to be framed works, textiles, or media such as baskets or other lightweight items. A copy of the Exhibition Agreement is available upon request.  Email or call the library M-W 12:30-7. South Jefferson Public Library 49 Church Street, Summit Point, WV 304-725-6227; http://www.sojeffersonlibrary .com. South Jefferson Public Library M-Th 10-7. Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5 South Jefferson Public Library none 304-725-6227; http://www.sojeffersonlibrary.com or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Call for Artists
Jean Heiler Gallery of the Old Opera House seeks artists to exhibit at popular theater gallery. For emerging and established artists. Now scheduling 2017. Open to 2D and 3D artists. Old Opera House, Charles Town 304-754-6643;  or kat (at) katstudioart .com

Open Call for Members
New WV art group. Newly appointed WV liaison for the International Society of Experimental Artists, Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, of Ridgeley, West Virginia, is seeking interested artists for membership. Timbrook’s goal is to coordinate artists in the state and promote art events for West Virginia. If interested, email ptimbrook (at) timbrook .com, on Facebook/patricia ann timbrook

Classes and Workshops
If you have not already done so, please take our Art Instruction Survey and let us know of your interest in art classes.

For details visit artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/.


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Flood of Relief - A WV Flood Benefit Concert

On Saturday, July 9, musical artists, merchants, and citizens will come together to host a concert, as well as a silent auction, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting organizations on the front lines of the WV flood relief efforts.
The event will feature performances by 8 bands and include silent auction items which were donated by over 30 merchants, artists, and local residents.

Longshots Billiards in Charles Town will be hosting the concert and all dynamics are being organized by Front Porch Live, the live music arm of a future microbrewery in Charles Town, Front Porch Brewing Co. and Sammi Brown, a candidate for House of Delegates in the 65th district which includes Charles Town and Ranson.

The event starts at 3:00 PM and the live music will last until the morning hours. There is not a set cover for this event, the promoters only ask that patrons donate what they can and bid on donated items if possible. Silent auction items can be prebid online at the Front Porch Brewing Co Facebook page and the final silent auction will take place between 3 pm and 9 pm on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Longshots.

On June 23, a once in a thousand year storm ravaged over 40 counties in WV, creating historic flooding that claimed the lives of over 25 people and destroyed over 1200 homes.  Immediately following the tragedy, communities all over WV came together to raise money and gather needed supplies for those most affected by the tragic floods. 

“We’re incredibly proud of this effort. This is what our community is about, we band together, no matter what, to support our friends in need.  When something like this happens to one of us, it happens to all of us and we’ve absolutely loved bringing everyone together to contribute in our very own, unique way.”” said Sammi Brown, event co-coordinator.  More information on the event can be found at http://facebook.com/frontporchbrewingco

Front Porch Live produces live music events specializing in fundraising concerts at music venues around the eastern panhandle

Front Porch Brewing Co is a microbrewery in downtown Charles Town, currently in construction with an estimated opening date of fall 2016.

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


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Update on the Old Opera House’s 16th Annual New Voice Play Festival

The Old Opera House Theatre Company held the 16th Annual New Voice Play Festival this past weekend at the Old Opera House in Charles Town.  Four new plays were featured in this event and the audience served as the final judge.  The Old Opera House patrons selected the play Grim Tidings by Dennis Jones from Powhatan, VA as their favorite of the festival. All four plays received positive reviews from the Old Opera House patrons and the participants in this year’s festival.

Golden Curtain Award
(First Place)
Grim Tidings
by Dennis Jones - Powhatan, VA
Directed by Rene Farabaugh
Featuring: Lee Hebb, Kit McGinnis, Charlie Perkins, Kelly Pannill & Bruce Olson

Silver Stage Award
(Second Place)
First Do No Harm
by Bara Swain - New York, NY
Directed by Tonja Hirst Featuring Amy Hebb & Steven Brewer

Spotlight Award
(Third Place)
Bad Move
by Vicki Koestler - Alexandria, VA
Directed by Liz Ricket
Featuring: Carl Dunn, Meaghan Barry, Melissa LeBlanc, Zachery Miller

Spotlight Award
(Third Place)
Fast Fall, By Carl Williams - Houston, TX
Directed by Ed Conn
Featuring: Linda Romero, Christine Brewer, Jeff Hudkins & Micheal George


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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 to West Virginia and the harm these businesses can face from abusive lawsuits, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) announced the start of its Small Business Summer Tour today.

“Create jobs, not lawsuits” campaign highlights how abusive lawsuits can hurt small business

“We are very excited to kick off our fourth 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 continued hard work of our legislature under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole and Speaker Tim Armstead we will have an opportunity to talk about some of the much needed lawsuit reforms that were passed during the legislative session. We will also highlight the important work of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in implementing the outside counsel policy, which has saved our state millions of dollars,” Stauffer added.

WV CALA will host several small business roundtable meetings across West Virginia.  The first took place last week in Beckley with State Senator Sue Cline and Delegates John D. O’Neal, IV, Kayla Kessinger, and Marty Gearheart. Several others are planned during the summer months – in Charleston, Fairmont, Martinsburg, 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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Adult Dance Classes for July & August Registering Now!

Adult dance class is for any individual looking to help gain or re-establish perspective of your body and the joy of movement, while focusing on refining technique and building strength. Whether you are new to dance, returning to dance, looking to maintain your chosen craft, or simply interested in one of the most effective ways to get in shape. Our goal is to allow you to stretch body, mind and spirit to your fullest potential. Students will be exposed to a ballet based warm up while learning lyrical, jazz or jazz funk center combinations.

The registration fee is $35 per person per month.

The classes will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:45 - 7:45 in the large dance studio at the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center.

Register online OR Download the Adult Dance Registration form

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/dgnyc
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Historic Flooding Sweeps Across West Virginia: Relief Efforts Underway

Leadership WV is leading an effort across the state to collect items to help those who have been devastated by the historic flooding that occurred in Southern WV.

RMS Shredding will be collecting items this weekend at the Chamber office parking lot -

Saturday, June 25 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Sunday, June 26 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce
198 Viking Way, Martinsburg

Items needed include:

LARGE tarps
Long bungee cords
Blankets
White socks
Cases of water
HAND SANITIZER
Baby wipes
Cleaning supplies
Diapers
Baby food / formula
Anti diarrhea meds
Toiletries / toothpaste /tooth brushes
Soap, shampoo
Dog food / cat food
Batteries
Canned goods “with pull tabs” if possible
Paper towels and toilet paper
Paper plates, utensils etc.
Granola bars / energy bars
Tarps and bungee cords
First aid kits and related items
Trash bags

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT TERESA SCOTT - 304-676-4846.

RMS Shredding will also be collecting items TONIGHT at BBI Realty, 123 North Queen Street DURING THE FRIDAYS @ 5 CONCERT!


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

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Fourth 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 5 - November 5, 2016.

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 theme for the exhibit is open.

The juror for the exhibit is Judith Dieruf, Professor, Painting and Drawing, at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

The deadline for entries is August 24. All entries must be submitted using the online entry system. Details and the online entry system is on the web 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.

Photo: 2015 Best in Show, “Raven” by Sheila Mace
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Happy Retreat in Charles Town Named a National Treasure

Washington, D.C. - On June 18, 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation added Happy Retreat to their growing portfolio of National Treasures. The National Trust will work with the City of Charles Town and Friends of Happy Retreat to help create a first class public experience at Happy Retreat that paves the way for it to become an intrinsic part of the Charles Town community.

“There is no other region in the country which contains such a wealth of original Washington family homes and history—and Happy Retreat is the crown jewel of them all,” said Robert Nieweg, Senior Field Director and Attorney of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We couldn’t be happier to work with the Friends to create an experience at such an important site that will draw more people, ensure its story is more broadly told and its long term future secured.”

Located in the Eastern panhandle region of West Virginia, Happy Retreat is the principal estate of the Washington family. Built in 1780 by Charles Washington, George Washington’s youngest brother, Happy Retreat was the foundation for the surrounding city of Charles Town. It is here where George Washington and his lifelong friend Dr. James Craik started their 680-mile trek out to the American west. Joel Achenbach’s 2005 book, The Grand Idea: George Washington’s Potomac and the Race to the West, details this ambitious journey. Happy Retreat is currently one of 40 sites along the 132-mile Washington Heritage Trail, a designated National Scenic Byway which runs from the “Gateway to West Virginia” at Harpers Ferry to points west - all within the national capital region.

“Happy Retreat is a wonderful part of the nation’s history, where George Washington long ago came to launch his grand idea of exploration in a new America.  Today, the Friends of Happy Retreat seek to restore the Happy Retreat mansion and property so that it can be a vibrant center of cultural life and community gatherings linking history, neighborhoods, greenspace, downtown Charles Town, and the broader tourism region,” says Walter Washington, President of the Friends of Happy Retreat.  “We are confident that our partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation will help the national treasure of Happy Retreat again become a place for the grand idea of exploring creative opportunities.”

In 2015, the Friends of Happy Retreat successfully saved Happy Retreat from being divided into 25 residential lots for new construction, and together with the city of Charles Town raised $775,000 towards the acquisition of the property. Although the immediate threat of demolition was avoided, Happy Retreat remains threatened until a sustainable new use is established and underway. The National Trust’s involvement at Happy Retreat provides an opportunity to show how creative, multipurpose uses of historic sites can create a roadmap for the long-term sustainability of these significant places.

As a National Treasure, Happy Retreat will join the ranks of other shared use concepts such as National Trust historic site, Cooper-Molera Adobe in Monterey, California, which is currently being converted to accommodate a museum, a restaurant, and event facilities. In an effort to mitigate the pitfalls of traditional house museums, the National Trust and Friends of Happy Retreat intend for the property to be used continuously by the public as a center for community events, heritage tourism, arts, culture, and scholarship, ultimately becoming a centerpiece for the newly founded Washington Heritage & Cultural District.

To learn more about the Happy Retreat National Treasure, visit http://www.savingplaces.org/happy-retreat


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Dining For Women to Host Educational Program and Meal

Wednesday, June 29 Dining For Women along with HEAT will host a pot-luck meal and educational program about the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin American and the Carribbean (CATW-LAC). 

We will be learning about their program, “Access to Justice and Due Diligence for Sex Trafficking Victims.”  The meeting will be held in the Cumberland Room of the SU Student Center.  For more information, call Susan at 304-261-8644.


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Terror on the Conococheague Re-Enactment, July 30 & 31, 2016

The Conococheague Institute Presents: “Terror on the Conococheague” – July 30 & 31 Re-enactment of 1756 Attack on Fort McCord and The Abduction of Jean Lowry

Mercersburg, PA – Come join us on July 30 and 31 when the Conococheague Institute commemorates the 260th anniversary of the attack on Fort McCord, the abduction of Jean Lowry and her family, and the failed rescue attempt at the Battle of Sideling Hill, PA.

There will be dozens of reenactors (nearly the same number as the actual event) depicting the frontier settlers, militia and Delaware Indians to reenact the events of April 1 and 2, 1756, which happened at the Rocky Spring Settlement/Fort McCord and Sidling Hill Creek.

Each day at 3:00 p.m., the attack, abduction and failed rescue attempt will be depicted complete with the burning of the fort, which was little more than a fortified cabin.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can learn about the hardships and achievements of the people who settled our region and gain a better understanding of the area’s historical significance by stopping at living history displays. There will be a working blacksmith, a laundress, a spinner and weaver, among others, demonstrating their crafts of the mid-18th century.  A lecture describing the historical event will be held each day prior to the re-enactment.

All are invited to attend a recreated 18th century church service Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Local historic sites, reenactor groups, and historical societies represented will include: The Augusta Regiment, Weiser’s Battalion; J Beall’s Company of the Maryland Forces; Conococheague Ranging Company; Kittatinny Associators; Acorn Forge; Cat Schrif, laundress; Frontier Living History; Historical Hounds; Mea Clift, 18th century doctor; Melanie Desmond, linen processing; Native Reenactors; US Army Heritage and Education Center; Miller’s Early American Games; Fort Frederick, Fort Ligonier, Renfew Park, and the Cumberland County Historical Society.

The grounds and buildings will be open from 10am-5pm each day. Gift & book shop will be open; includes the book, The Capture of Jean Lowry.

$5 for adults, children age 16 and under free.

Bus tours welcome, call for pricing.

For more information call: 717-328-3467

The Conococheague Institute is grateful for the support of our generous sponsors:

Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Rockwell Construction, BB&T Bank, State Farm Insurance-Dave Stauffer

The Conococheague Institute serves as a regional center for developing and fostering awareness, understanding and stewardship of the cultural and natural history of the Appalachian frontier of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. We strive to achieve our mission through education, research and preservation.

Local people pronounce the Native American word “Conococheague”: CONICA (rhymes with “Monica”) JIG (like the Irish dance). In 1822, Conococheague was defined as meaning, “long indeed, very long indeed.”

We are headquartered within Rock Hill Farm, a well-preserved historic farmstead that was established in the early 18th century in southern Franklin County, Pennsylvania, near the village of Welsh Run. Our 30-acre site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes a historic house museum with outbuildings, a research library, two relocated historic log structures, a replica Eastern Woodland Indian village, walking trails with access to a pioneer cemetery, and several historic gardens.


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Cirque Italia: The First Ever Italian Water Circus Coming To Martinsburg July 14 - 17

Come experience the magical world of Cirque Italia – a show like no other. We are proud to be the first traveling WATER circus in the US! Our extraordinary stage holds 35,000 gallons of water and features a dynamic lid which lifts 35 feet into the air, allowing water to fall like rain from above as fountains dazzle below! This incredible show takes place under our majestic white and blue big top tent which came all the way from Italy……..Inside we have such a theatrical and intimate setup, you just might forget you are under a circus tent!

The show owner and founder, Manuel Rebecchi, has a deep seeded history in the circus industry. His late aunt, Moira Orfei, ran one of the largest circus shows in Europe. When Manuel came to the states several years ago, he decided that Americans needed to experience a European style show. He wanted to create something special and memorable. He was actually inspired to create the water stage while drinking a bottle of water one day!! Mr. Rebecchi knew he would need someone with great talent and vision to make his idea work. That is why he brought in Chante’ DeMoustes, COO and Producer, to help make his dreams a reality. The result? Something never before seen in the US – a cirque variety show featuring a 35,000 gallon water tank stage and performers from around the world! This incredible show is completely ANIMAL-FREE.

So what can you expect to see at this remarkably unique show? How about a CONTORTIONIST who is able to bend her body in ways you would never imagine…. How high can he go? You’ll be asking yourself as our Italian singer stacks chair upon chair and then balances on top of them on his hands…...Our crazy clown, Alex, PLUNGES off the diving board during his acrobatic trampoline excursion! Want to get splashed? Who knows what can happen during our astounding JETSKI act……Breathtaking Aerial Divas will fly high in the sky like beautifully colored birds of paradise……. Our Laserman will be causing all kinds of explosions with his laser guns……maybe to scare away the large DINOSAUR that has invaded the show!! All this, plus thrilling highwire feats, twin juggling maniacs, elegant chiffons, and more!! Don’t forget you also have the once in a lifetime opportunity to take a picture with a MERMAID.

For more information, check out the Cirque Italia website: http://www.cirqueitalia.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Interact with us! Keep up to date with the latest news!

Or shoot us an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We will be happy to answer all of your questions.

You can purchase tickets through our website (http://www.cirqueitalia.com/tickets) or by phone: (941) 704-8572. We also respond to text message.

Non vediamo l’ora di vedervi allo spettacolo!
Let Your Imagination Wander…and come DIVE into the Magical world of CIRQUE ITALIA.

When: July 14-17
Where: Foxcroft Towne Center at Martinsburg (formerly Martinsburg Mall)
At: 800 Foxcroft Ave, Martinsburg, WV 25401
Near: Behind Walmart, Off I-81 exit 12 or 13

Under the grand, swirling White and Blue tent!

  • July 14 THURS: 7:30pm
  • July 15 FRI: 7:30pm
  • July 16 SAT: 1:30pm, 4:30pm & 7:30pm
  • July 17 SUN: 1:30pm, 4:30pm & 7:30pm

Box office hours:
The box office opens on-site on Tuesday, the week of the show.
Non-show days: 10am – 6pm
On show days open 10am – 9pm


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Fire Destroys Home on W. Va. 522 South

BERKELEY SPRINGS - Fire destroyed a home in the 7400 block of Valley Road early Tuesday morning, June 21, 2016. The charred remains of the home still smoldered at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the burnt smell could be detected several hundred yards past the site. The home is reportedly owned by Fahima Vorgetts and is next door to Country Traditions Emporium (Vorgetts’ former Valley Caravan Gallery).

Units from nine counties responded to the two-alarm fire shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. The home was fully engulfed at that point. No one was home at the time.  The house is a rental property and was between renters, so no residents were displaced by the fire.

According to Morgan County 911, a passerby called 911 at 2:33 a.m. That caller reported seeing flames shooting out of the windows of the house.

Morgan County 911 dispatched units back to the fire scene at 8:40 a.m. because the fire rekindled. On Tuesday morning around 10 a.m., personnel from Berkeley Springs and Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Companies were still on the scene.

West Virginia Fire Marshal George Harms is investigating.

Vorgetts, director of the Afghan Women’s Fund based in Berkeley Springs, operated the Valley Caravan Gallery next door before it became Country Traditions Emporium. Vorgetts is a spokeswoman for women’s rights in her native Afghanistan.

The Country Traditions Emporium Facebook page posted a note, saying “There was a house fire in a home located next to the store overnight but the store was not the structure that burned,” the note read. “I know some people have seen the news report and because of the shared address thought the store was the burning structure. Thankful that from the reports I have gotten so far no one was hurt in the fire.”


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U.S. Cellular Offers Tips for Raising Digitally Responsible Citizens

Internet Safety Month Serves as Reminder for Parents to Foster Behavior that Leads to Safe Online Experiences

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (June 20, 2016) –The Internet can be intimidating with headlines about hackers, cyberbullying and phishing scams. June is National Internet Safety Month, giving parents the opportunity to talk to their kids about these issues and the importance of safe Internet use. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, 92 percent of teens report going online daily, with 24 percent noting they go online “almost constantly.”

While devices such as the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro help families feel secure and stay connected, users of these high-tech devices need to know how to avoid compromising their personal safety online, and parents can play a key role in guiding mobile usage. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey1, the average age a child is getting their first phone is 13, with safety cited as the main reason. Seventy percent of respondents note that they always or frequently monitor their child’s cell phone use, while almost three quarters have rules about their child’s cell phone usage.

“The latest mobile devices operating on a high-quality 4G LTE network with nationwide coverage can keep families better connected to each other and the Internet more than ever,” stated Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. “At U.S. Cellular, we encourage parents to take the time to have open discussions about what works best for their family, and we want to be a resource as parents make decisions on their child’s first cellphone and the related Internet use.”

U.S. Cellular shares five easy tips for parents to facilitate discussion about Internet use on mobile devices and to raise digitally responsible children: 

• Have an agreement with your children: 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 and evolving needs.

• Discuss online communications: Beyond texting, increases in the use of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat open up new communication pathways for teens. Discuss the importance of never posting hurtful or hateful comments on others pages and always being responsible for what is said online.

• Set boundaries for online sharing: Make sure 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, click on unfamiliar links or download attachments unless they are from a trusted source.

• Post photos appropriately: Today’s kids are eager to capture and share photos, but many fail to grasp that once photos are online, they are part of a public space, and can even be modified without their knowledge. Discuss appropriate guidelines for sharing photos with friends, and alert them to never post photos that could contain information about where they live or be seen as inappropriate. It’s also a good rule of thumb to not post or share photos or videos of others without their consent.

• Use parental controls:  The NQ Family Guardian app, available for $4.99 a month for Android devices, 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 iOS users, there is a wide range of parental-control options that are automatically available in iOS 9’s Settings app.

While these steps can help promote online safety today, the Internet is constantly evolving, as is the technology surrounding it, and teens also are ever changing how they consume information and interact in this digital age. To help parents stay informed and well positioned to help their teens become responsible digital citizens, local schools, police departments and other community groups offer seminars on Internet safety. U.S. Cellular also offers device workshops for the entire community, including those who are not U.S. Cellular customers, providing a great opportunity to learn more about the many features of today’s smart devices and how teens may be using them to connect and engage online.

¹ Between Nov. 12-21, 2015, a total of 735 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.
 
Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service may be provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

About King Street Wireless, L.P.
King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets.  King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia where it is recognized for its involvement in its community both through its economic development and philanthropic efforts. To learn more about King Street Wireless, visit http://www.kingstreetwireless.com.

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, and currently, 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. 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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Commission of Fine Arts votes on ‘concept approval’ for refined preliminary White House fence design

WASHINGTON – The United States Secret Service (USSS) and the National Park Service (NPS) today presented concepts for a new White House fence to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for concept approval. The CFA voted to approve the essential components of the agencies’ preferred concept, which will be further developed and refined in the coming months.

The fence for the White House grounds will be a taller and stronger fence that incorporates anti-climb and intrusion detection technology, while respecting the historical significance and visitor experience at the White House and President’s Park. The approved concept, voted on today, is an 11 foot 7 inch fence, with wider and stronger pickets, and a small increase in the space between the pickets. The current fence is about 7 feet tall.

The agencies presented preliminary concepts to the CFA during an information presentation this spring, and have worked diligently to further develop those concepts over the past few months. The fence concepts presented today are part of a phased approach to enhance security of the White House and its environs. The initial phase focuses on the fence around the White House and its immediate grounds. The second phase will address improvements to the fences around the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

There are still several additional steps before construction will begin on a new fence, including a return to the Commission of Fine Arts for final design approval. The agencies aim to begin construction of the White House grounds fence by 2018.

Starting in May 2015, the USSS and the NPS implemented a series of temporary security enhancements and aesthetic improvements for the White House complex. These temporary security measures to E Street NW, the Ellipse and the removable anti-climb feature installed on the top of the White House fence, have provided enhanced protection for the White House and will remain in place until long-term solutions are fully implemented.


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Asbury UMC Announces 2016 Vacation Bible School Schedule

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV announces their 2016 Vacation Bible School Program titled ‘Surf Shack’. 

Registration will be on Tuesday; June 28 at 5:30 PM and the VBS program will be each weeknight from 6-8 PM (June 28 – July 1). 

At Surf Shack, kids will be equipped and invited to plunge into the incredible experience of knowing God. They will encounter God’s awesomeness through amazing Bible stories before embarking on a breathtaking adventure of participating in God’s love.

With Surf Shack as its hub, Asbury will become an ocean of excitement as kids and leaders (Surfers and Lifeguards) enjoy beach–themed music, crafts, science projects, recreation, Bible stories and more! 

Kids will become fully equipped to live out God’s mission in their lives.  So grab your surfboard and head on over to ‘Asbury Beach’ as we catch the wave of God’s Amazing Love! 

All children, regardless of denomination or church affiliation are invited to participate. 

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 and learn how to register early and to get further information.


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Asbury UMC to hold 225th Anniversary Celebration

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV will celebrate its 225th Anniversary during the weekend of June 25-26.  We have planned an exciting time that will include something for everyone.

On Saturday; June 25th (10am-4pm), the entire community is invited to join in as Asbury hosts a catered block party celebrating Asbury’s involvement in the life of the Jefferson County community. We will have activities for kids, historical artifact displays and a tour of the Asbury facilities. We will also conduct lectures on Methodism’s first Bishop Francis Asbury (our namesake), the history of the United Methodist Church and Asbury UMC. 

On Sunday, June 26 at 10am,  we will conclude our weekend celebration with a special worship service to rededicate Asbury into the Lord’s Service.  There will be a reception immediately following the worship service. 

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.


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Tanabata Family Festival To Be Held June 18 At The Washington County Museum Of Fine Arts

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts invites the public to several programs during the Tanabata (Banner) Family Festival this Saturday, in connection with the current exhibition, Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido. The programs will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and are free of charge but do require advance registration.

From 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., children and adults can create Tanzaku banners. In Japan, people celebrate Tanabata by writing special messages, wishes, prayers, and poetry, on, narrow strips of colored paper called tanzaku, and hang them on bamboo poles or trees. After learning about this tradition, children and adult participants will write their own messages and create their own tanzaku banners to display in the Museum’s Kaylor Garden before taking them home at the end of their visit.

Origami, the art of paper folding often associated with Japanese culture, will be offered from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Participants will transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding techniques. At 1:00 p.m., the museum will also host a Lecture on Kokedama Bonsai by West Virginia Professor of the Year, Shepherd University Professor, Sonya Evanisko. A Gallery Talk with art educator Claudia Giannini featuring the exhibit and a printmaking discussion will follow the lecture at 2:00 p.m. She will explain the historical and cultural background of the Hiroshige prints while also discussing their artistic design and aesthetic beauty.

Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido features 55 revolutionary wood-block prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858), recording the scenic views along the famous “Eastern Road” that linked Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan. This popular series, known as the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, was published in 1834 and established Hiroshige’s reputation as the foremost artist of the topographical landscape. The exhibit is open until June 26.

To register for any or all of these special programs, RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call the Museum at 301-739-5727. Additional information can be found at http://wcmfa.org/tokaido-road-family-festivals. These events are sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The exhibition is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Washington County, The Hershey Family Foundation, and the Waltersdorf Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Washington County.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is considered one of the finest small museums in the nation. Located in Hagerstown’s historic City Park, the Museum is a destination for those interested in the fine arts and education. What began as an initial gift from the founders has grown into an extraordinary permanent collection that includes over 7,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and other works of art representing a variety of international cultures. The museum is open year-round and is free of charge. For more information visit http://www.wcmfa.org.

Photo: 26th Station: Kawegawa, Hiroshige Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, woodblock print, courtesy of Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Celebrate summer and handmade during the Over the Mountain Studio Tour’s annual Summer Preview Show

Celebrate summer and handmade during the Over the Mountain Studio Tour’s annual Summer Preview Show in downtown Shepherdstown’s War Memorial Building, July 8-10.  The 24-member tour invites you to kick off their 27th year at their Opening Reception on Friday, July 8, 5-7 pm, where you can meet this year’s two newest juried members, experience fresh work from all members, and enjoy a bit of conversation with snacks and drinks.  The show continues Saturday, July 9, 10-5 pm, and Sunday, July 10, 9-3 pm.

Two new tour members will be featured: including Lisa Kovatch, earthenware pottery, and Bridget Brown, fiber paintings.  All tour members will be represented, including pottery, basketry, stained glass, fine furniture, twig furniture, blacksmithing, jewelry, colored pencil drawings, abstract and portrait painting, watercolor painting, hand hewn bowls, wood sculpting, book and paper art, wearable fiber art, polymer clay, gourd art, and wooden toys.

The Annual Summer Show gives the artisans of the tour a reason to gather under one roof for a weekend and have a great time together, kicking off our 27th year celebration.  We want to share the genuine sense of enjoyment and connection with the larger community. From visitors to our Farmers Market and the Contemporary American Theater Festival, to locals out for the day, you will see first- hand that this area is a haven for gifted artists, ” says Fran Brolle, jeweler and eleventh year tour member.

Friday night’s reception is our first chance to introduce our newest members, and celebrate the fresh work and energy they bring to the group.  Come celebrate with us, and meet these gems of Jefferson County!” says Pam Parziale, potter and founding member.

The Over The Mountain Studio Tour Summer Preview Show kicks off the tour’s 27th Year of celebrating our local artisans. Mark your calendar for the full autumn tour, November 12 & 13, always the second weekend of November. 

For more information, visit http://www.studiotourwv.org.


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Under Fire!: The Battle of Bolivar Heights, 1862

On Saturday and Sunday, June 18th and 19th, 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 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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Celebrate The 260Th Anniversary Of The Construction Of Fort Frederick June 25 & 26th

BIG POOL, MARYLAND – Fort Frederick State Park will celebrate the 260th anniversary of the fort’s construction June 25 and 26. Living historians will garrison the fort and demonstrate what life was like at Fort Frederick during the French and Indian War. The special anniversary commemoration will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the recreated units of Joshua Beall’s Company and Alexander Beall’s Company of the Maryland Forces along with Maryland Militia will provide living history interpretation. Throughout the weekend, a wide variety of demonstrations will take place in and around the Fort, including musket demonstrations, military drill, a military blacksmith, pit sawing demonstrations, and more.

“This program allows our visitors to travel back in time and participate in the daily activities performed by the soldiers and women stationed at the fort during the French and Indian War, and at the same time celebrate the 260th Anniversary” said Rob Ambrose, Park Ranger at Fort Frederick State Park.

Highlights of the event include:

  • Fort Frederick Flag Raising at 9 a.m.
  • Fort Frederick Flag Lowering at 5 p.m.
  • Volunteer Company Drill (for young and old.) at 12 and 3 p.m.
  • Military Music at 1:30 p.m.
  • Join a Ranging Party on patrol 12:30 p.m.
  • Pit sawing and wood working –All Day
  • Blacksmithing demonstrations at 11:30 and 2:30 both days

The French and Indian War, which was fought between 1756 and 1763, changed the landscape and fabric of the North American continent forever. Experience life during 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.  Visitors are encouraged to dress for inclement weather or hot sunny days.  Snacks, drinks, gifts, and souvenir items will be available for sale at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop.  Food items will be available for purchase from the Clear Spring Lions Club.

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 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.


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Smithsonian Curator To Present “Seeing America With Norman Rockwell” in Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – On Sunday afternoon, June 19, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (WCMFA) will present a public program featuring guest speaker Dr. Virginia Mecklenburg, Chief Curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Dr. Mecklenburg will present an illustrated lecture on the topic Seeing America with Norman Rockwell. The program is free of charge but advance registration is required.

A specialist on American art and culture, Dr. Mecklenburg served as curator and primary catalogue author for the SAAM’s 2010 exhibition Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Her lecture coincides with the Museum’s exhibition Play Ball! Celebrating 60 Years of Norman Rockwell’s “The Oculist”.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1987) was one of America’s best known and best loved artists, largely as a result of the 322 covers that he created for the Saturday Evening Post between 1916 and 1963.  A careful observer of human emotions and behavior, Rockwell successfully captured the seemingly spontaneous events of daily life through the faces, poses, and actions of people that he knew personally.  Yet, as this exhibition shows, Rockwell’s method was far from spontaneous.  Working over a period of several weeks, Rockwell frequently captured variations of his compositions through staged photographs that he then meticulously reworked through drawings and oil sketches before finalizing his compositional story on canvas.

Since its debut on the cover of Saturday Evening Post on May 19, 1956, Norman Rockwell’s painting of The Oculist has been a perennial favorite of baseball fans, young and old.  This very special 60th anniversary “focus show” tells the story of how the painting was originally conceived and created, and how it became a treasured highlight of the WCMFA collection.  Organized in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the exhibition includes original documents related to the creation and acquisition of the painting, as well as rarely seen photographs of studio models and compositional stage sets taken by Norman Rockwell himself. The exhibit continues through October 23.

To register for the lecture, RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call the Museum at 301-739-5727. Additional information can be found at http://wcmfa.org/news/virginia-mecklenburg-seeing-america-with-norman-rockwell-lecture/. The exhibition is sponsored in part by: Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Anne G. & Howard S. Kaylor, Conservit, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Franchot.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is considered one of the finest small museums in the nation. Located in Hagerstown’s historic City Park, the Museum is a destination for those interested in the fine arts and education. What began as an initial gift from the founders has grown into an extraordinary permanent collection that includes over 7,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and other works of art representing a variety of international cultures. The museum is open year-round and is free of charge. For more information visit http://www.wcmfa.org.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/ySYY8
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Op-ed: Ask your doctor, not a lawyer

The following is an Op-Ed from Roman Stauffer. Stauffer is Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Dramatic and sensationalistic personal injury lawsuit ads bombard our daily lives, especially on television. Often these personal injury lawyer ads appear to dole out medical-sounding information in hopes of enlisting potential clients for a lawsuit.

Misleading information may be used in the ads to lure or scare people into joining a lawsuit, and, of course, there is the standard promise that West Virginians will cash in on jackpot justice.

New academic research recently released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform shows that personal injury lawyer advertising is growing faster than ever. The report projects that personal injury lawyer television advertising will hit $892 million in 2015, which is a 68 percent increase over eight years ago when they spent $531 million. This type of disgusting advertising has grown six times faster from 2008 to 2014 than all other television ad spending.

One unfortunate risk of these advertisements is that they may scare patients into making bad health decisions. The ads often warn about extremely rare side effects, which may cause people to stop taking much-needed medications. The ads plant seeds of doubt and apprehension in viewers about trusting their doctor. They encourage people to seek the counsel of personal injury lawyers on medical issues, and as a result may steer viewers away from the guidance of their health care professional.

Undoubtedly, the vast majority of health care providers act in our best interest and recommend treatments to help us achieve the best health possible. And while some lawsuits are legitimate, the incessant personal injury lawsuit ads are all about generating lawsuits to make personal injury lawyers rich. Why else would these lawyers be spending nearly a billion dollars a year on TV ads?  The ads raise false hopes, promise elusive lawsuit riches, and drive our society to believe that the solution to every issue is a lawsuit, regardless of whether it has merit or not.

If you have concerns about your health care, do the obvious thing of asking your doctor. He or she knows your health history and what is best for you. The millionaire personal injury lawyers hawking health care-related lawsuits are only acting in their best interests with hopes of hitting their own jackpot justice lottery and reaping huge lawsuit profits for themselves.


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Old Opera House to host 16th annual New Voice Play Festival

June 24, 25, & 26, 2016

Each year the Old Opera House Theatre Company asks playwrights from across the country to submit their new one-act plays to a panel of judges. These plays are read and discussed, and the top four of the season are presented on the Old Opera House stage each year in late June. The plays range from 10 to 40 minutes in length and all four are assembled into an exciting evening of entertainment. The Old Opera House then asks our audience to serve a theatre critic and select their favorites of this year’s festival. This is a unique opportunity to see some of the American Theatre’s newest offerings.

The 16th Annual New Voice Play Festival

Bad Move by Vicki Koestler – Alexandria, VA

Directed by Liz Ricketts

Featuring

Carl Dunn as Peter
Meaghan Barry as Beth
Melissa LeBlanc as Ariana
Zachery Miller as Jason
A young couple has just moved into an upper class neighborhood and worry that they will not be accepted. While Peter tries to convince his pregnant wife Beth that all is well, two teens from the local high school improvisation group arrive at the door and confusion abounds! Will the teen’s antics convince the couple that their move to Oakwood Lakes was a mistake?

Fast Fall By Carl Williams – Houston, TX

Directed by Ed Conn

Featuring

Lydia Daffer Dunn as Dorothy (Dottie) Montgomery
Christine Brewer as Susan Wayfield
Jeff Hudkins as Gerald Grimes
Micheal George as Evan Sawyer
When Dottie Montgomery’s brother falls over the balcony and dies, theories as to how this tragic incident occurred begin to surface. Was it suicide? Murder? Join Dottie, her sister Susan, and newest beau Gerald, along with the police detective Evan in this film-noir-esque play that will leave you guessing whodunit?

First Do No Harm by Bara Swain - New York, NY

Directed by Tonja Hirst

Featuring

Amy Hebb as Ethel
Steven Brewer as Mike

Ethel is a stressed out, single mother, in the middle of a mental breakdown. Just as she reaches her breaking point, she meets Dr. Michael Rabiner, a mild mannered General Practitioner. Despite her attempts to make him the embodiment of all her fears and life challenges; he shows her what it means when a doctor not only takes “the oath”, but lives it.


Grim Tidings by Dennis Jones - Powhatan, VA

Directed by Rene Farabaugh

Featuring

Lee Hebb as Edward Hastings
Kit McGinnis as Madam Zarkov
Charlie Perkins as Nigel
Bruce Olson as Portofoy
Kelly Pannill as Amanda Broom
It is Christmas Day, 1885, Edward Hastings is on a solitary walk when he happens upon the establishment of Madam Zarkov, Fortune Teller. Does Edward accept his fate or does he change his future with Madam Zarkov’s help?

Ticket prices:
$15.00 Adults
$12.00 Students

Call the OOH Theatre Box-office at (304) 725-4420 or purchase tickets on-line at http://www.oldoperahouse.org


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WVCALA: Company Drops Motorcycle Coverage In West Virginia Due To Poor Lawsuit Climate

Press Release received from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. WVCALA is a nonprofit citizen watchdog group with 30,000 members interested in a broad range of civil justice issues.

Charleston, W.Va. – As thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts gather in Charleston this weekend for the annual Capitol City Biker Bash, many may be seeking comradery and fun while they also search for new liability coverage – as one insurer is leaving the state and blaming the lawsuit environment here. 

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) recently learned from a media report that Rider Insurance of New Jersey is terminating West Virginia policies because of the state’s difficult legal system. The company reportedly notified nearly 6,000 customers on May 31st that it would no longer offer motorcycle coverage in West Virginia.

Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA noted, “The Legislature under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead have made great strides in fixing West Virginia’s civil justice system, as they have worked to pass several, much-needed, lawsuit reforms to bring our state into the legal mainstream.” 

“More work needs to be done in areas where our state continues to be an outlier, particularly with our lack of an intermediate court of appeals. Another challenge is the Mountain State’s lawsuit lottery mentality. Our courts need to be all about justice, not greed,” Staffer added. 

Rider’s letter to its West Virginia customers states, “We have concluded that it is impossible to do business in West Virginia as a specialized company that is determined to maintain low premiums for our customers. The reason is the West Virginia legal system… It is far more difficult than the judicial system in any other state in which we write insurance.”

Stauffer observed, “It’s unfortunate this company will no longer do business in West Virginia, and it’s an example of how lawsuit abuse can directly affect consumers. Motorcycle owners will have fewer options for liability protection, and some may have to pay higher prices. Clearly our work is not done. Citizens need to continue to call out lawsuit abuse, advocate for legal reforms – and vote – to make sure West Virginia courts are fair and balanced.”

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/nVT9d5
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Maryland Symphony Orchestra to Present 31st Salute to Independence Concert at Antietam

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The 31st Annual “Salute to Independence” concert, presented by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, will be held on Saturday, July 2 at the Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze has programmed a concert that will honor, through words and music, the men and women who have served our country in the past, and those who are currently members of the United States Armed Forces. The concert will also commemorate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016 and, as part of its 35th anniversary season kickoff, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra will unveil a new look that represents the first major logo overhaul in its history.

The “Salute to Independence” has become one of Maryland’s most patriotic outdoor events and Washington County’s largest, one-day tourism event, attracting nearly 30,000 people each year. In recent years it has been recognized by the American Bus Association as one of the “Top 100 Events in North America.”

Vocalist Robert Tudor will be the guest soloist for this concert and provide narration to Jay Unger’s stunningly moving and famed “Ashoken Farewell.”

Baritone Robert Tudor enjoys a vibrant career in the genres of opera, early music, musical theater and cabaret, and as a concert soloist throughout the United States. Since 2007, Robert has been featured annually as a guest artist in the Montana Early Music Festival and returns to Montana each summer as an artist and instructor at the Helena Choral Festival, where he directs, teaches, and appears as a soloist in recitals and concerts.

Tudor has performed with the celebrated Washington Bach Consort, Pro Music Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Maryland Handel Festival, and the Jacksonville and Maryland Symphony Orchestras. He has also appeared as a guest artist at The Art of Argento, a two-week celebration of the music of contemporary American composer Dominick Argento at the University of Maryland. Tudor received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Maryland. He serves as Director of Vocal Activities and Chair of the Department of Music at Shepherd University. Tudor will sing the National Anthem and lead the traditional Salute to the Armed Forces medley and the “Sing -Out America” sing-a-long.

The MSO will be performing such crowd pleasing favorites as Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” selections from Ferde Grofé‘s “Grand Canyon Suite,” the Armed Forces Salute, and Sousa’s “Yorktown Centennial March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Serving as Master of Ceremonies will be former television news anchor and producer Pieter Bickford. Bickford is a lifelong journalist who now spends his days uncovering fun things to do in the area as Editor-in-Chief of What’s NXT, a free monthly event guide. Pieter grew up in Hagerstown, graduated from North High, and studied journalism at Ithaca College in New York. Pieter previously worked at WHAG-TV, WBAL Radio and Maryland Public Television. Pieter is actively involved in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and hosting numerous events and forums throughout the year.

The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display supported by PNC and produced by Bay Fireworks of Farmingdale, NY.

Event Partners for the “Salute” are the National Park Service, Antietam National Battlefield, and Washington County, MD.

The PNC Fireworks Display is presented through a grant from the PNC Foundation.

Liberty Sponsors are Antietam Cable Television, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of Potomac Edison, Herald Mail Company/Herald-Mail Media, and The Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation.

Red, White and Blue Sponsors are Electromet Corporation and Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Victory Sponsors are Charles Schwab Office of T.J. Roccograndi, Meritus Health, Inc., Volvo, The Hamilton Family Foundation, and The Marlene & Mike Young Family.

Patriotic Sponsors are American Legion Clopper-Michael Post #10, Unit #10 American Legion Auxiliary, Post #10 Sons of the American Legion, Paul Crampton Contractors, Delaplaine Foundation, Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant, and Varner “Pat” Paddack.

The MSO also acknowledges the support from its “Friends of the Salute” members, and a Washington County Gives matching grant as awarded by the Community Foundation of Washington County through the orchestra’s participation in the recent 24-Hour Day of Giving on May 3, 2016.

Antietam National Battlefield is one of America’s National Parks and is the site of the bloodiest one day battle in American history. On September 17, 1862, more than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or declared missing in action after 12 hours of savage combat. For more information on the battlefield, http://www.nps.gov/anti/.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra and “Salute to Independence” is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland States Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 35th season as 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 region.


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Everyone Invited To Shepherdstown WV 4th Of July Parade And Picnic

The historic town of Shepherdstown WV will hold its annual Independence Day parade and community picnic on Monday, July 4. Both events will be held rain or shine. Everyone is welcome at both events and admission will be free.

The parade and picnic are organized annually by the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown. The goal is to provide an old-fashioned, family-oriented 4th of July celebration that everyone can enjoy. The parade will be held starting at 11:00 a.m. downtown. It will last about an hour. Entries will include veteran’s groups, antique vehicles, local societies and organizations of all kinds, local businesses, government officials, children’s groups, animals, historical re-enactors, fire trucks, and more. Plenty of parade parking will be available in the Shepherd University parking lot at the edge of downtown on High Street.

The picnic will be held right after the parade, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m., in the pavilion at Morgan’s Gove Park on Kearneysville Pike (Route 480) just southwest of town.

The picnic will feature live music, with two local bands: The Speakeasy Boys and the Gypsy Ramblers. There will be many free children’s activities, including a scavenger hunt, a water balloon toss, face painting, a waterslide and more. The Rotary Club will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and non-alcoholic beverages at reasonable prices. All proceeds from those sales are used to help cover event costs.

People can bring their own picnic lunches if they prefer. There is plenty of parking at the park.

For more information go to the Rotary Club website at http://www.shepherdstownrotary.org/July_4_picnic or contact Peter Smith at 304-876-1139 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Mugs & Muffins Opens in Downtown Martinsburg

Mugs & Muffins is a local family-operated Coffee Shop and Bakery. They use locally sourced, organic products. Their coffee is roasted by Rick’s Roasters.

Stop In for a Coffee and a Muffin. Also daily specials on Sandwiches and Salads for lunchtime.

Mugs & Muffins
220 N. Queen Street
Downtown Martinsburg
http://www.mugsandmuffinsbakery.com
304.839.6836


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6th Annual Jefferson County Civil War Seminar

Final plans are being made for the Sixth Annual Jefferson County Civil War Seminar to be held on June 21, 22, and 23, 2016. Sponsored jointly by the Charles Town Library Civil War Roundtable, the Harpers Ferry Historical Association, the Historic Shepherdstown Commission, the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, and the Jefferson County Historical Society, the seminar is provided free of charge to the public. Seating for this popular event is limited, so plan to arrive early. The location for each day and a summary schedule follows:

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Allies For Freedom Exhibit on the 2nd floor of the John Brown Museum (corner of Shenandoah & Potomac Streets) in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Pay the entrance fee and ride the park shuttle to the Lower Town.

9:20 AM: Don Watts: “In My Backyard? Yankees?”
10:45 AM: Jim Glymph: “Wearing of the Gray, Brown…! Uniforms in the Confederate Army 1861-1865”
1:15 PM: Bill Berry: Civil War Railroads
2:40 PM: Doug Perks: The County Seat Controversy

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Entler Hotel, 129 East German Street, Shepherdstown WV

9:20 AM: Dave Collins: Civil War 101
10:45 AM: Steve French: “Belle Boyd: Myth and Reality”
1:15 PM: Dave Collins: Topography 202:
2:40 PM: John Kavaliunas: Far Away Dixieland?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
Fisherman’s Hall, southwest corner South West and West Academy Streets, Charles Town WV

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.: James Taylor, George Rutherford, and James Tolbert: “Post-Civil War Advances in Education, Self-Help Fraternal and Religious Organizations, and Civil Rights in Jefferson County”
1 to 2:20 p.m.: James Broomall: “After Appomattox: Reconstructing the American South, 1865-1877”
2:30 to 4 p.m.: Donna Northouse: “Building a Better America: Catalysts Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman at Work in Post-Civil War Washington, D.C.”


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2016 Fall Soccer Registration is now open at Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Rec

Registration is currently being accepted for the Fall 2016 Soccer Season. The registration fee is $55 per child for Berkeley county residents and $60 per child for Non-residents. (There is a $5 sibling discount given off second and subsequent registrations, when registering siblings on the same receipt.) The deadline for registration is August 5, 2016. Any registrations received after the deadline will be charged a $10 late fee. Online registration will be open until 11:59pm on August 5, 2016. Practices may be anywhere in Berkeley County. Games are played at Dupont Soccer Complex, located in Falling Waters (U-15 division also plays at Musselman High School)

To register online follow this link: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mbcparksandrecdept/Home

To download a copy of the registration form, follow this link: http://www.mbcparks-rec.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/FALL-2016-SOCCER.pdf

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/ei1dpS
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Libertarians Dare GOP on Passing Tax Increase

Press Release received from the Libertarian Party of WV

“It’s a crazy election year all over the country,” says Michael Wilson, Chair of the Libertarian Party of West Virginia, “and nowhere more so than here in West Virginia where, astonishingly, the first Republican-controlled legislature in nearly 80 years is on the verge of passing an increase in the sales tax or an even greater increase in tobacco taxes than was already rejected in the House of Delegates.” “Republicans talk a good game about smaller government and then turn around and betray their putative principles every time,” Wilson observed.

“Well, all I have to say,” adds Libertarian candidate for Governor, David Moran, “is ‘thanks, GOP, you’re giving me just the boost I need to convince the public to vote Libertarian this year.’”

Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State, John Buckley, observed, “if the Republicans keep this up, we Libertarian candidates are going to have to record the GOP tax increase vote as a massive, in-kind political contribution on our campaign finance reports.”  “I double-dog dare Bill Cole and his Republican majority in the legislature to pass a tax increase,” Buckley said. “There are tens of thousands of voters in West Virginia absolutely fed up with top-heavy government in our state and they’re looking for someone to represent them. Libertarians are offering them that alternative,” he declared.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is running a full slate of six statewide candidates, plus another dozen candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, state legislature, and local office.


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Deadline Approaching: “Art of the Portrait” at the Berkeley Art Works

The submission deadline for the Berkeley Arts Council “Art of the Portrait” is June 23. The juried exhibit is to showcase the art of the portrait. All 2-dimensional artwork framed up to 36 inches in the long dimension, including but not limited to painting, photography, and mixed media is eligible. 3-dimensional works and self portraits are acceptable. The exhibit will be displayed from July 13 - August 6, 2016 in the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

Entries are by digital images sent by email. Please read the full instructions at http://wp.me/pDwaf-Eg.
Deadline for entries June 23. There is no entry fee. Accepted artists will be asked to make a donation to support the gallery at the time work is delivered. Jurying of the digital submissions will be done by a committee of Berkeley Art Works artists by June 30 and work is to be delivered to the gallery between July 6 and July 10. For more information email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call304-620-7277.

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 atwww.berkeleyartswv.org.


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Call for Artists: Juried Railroad Art Exhibit

The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Call for Entries for “Heavy Metal”, a juried exhibit of railroad art to be on display from August 31 through October 1, 2016 in the special exhibit gallery space at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

The exhibit is open nationally to all visual artists over the age of 18 in all media. We seek to present an exhibit of artworks in a wide range of media and techniques that celebrates the diverse rail heritage in the United States. The juror for the exhibit is Michael Doig, Assistant Professor of Art at Davis & Elkins college in Elkins, West Virginia.

The exhibit is being produced in association with the Center for Railroad Tourism at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV.

Entries for the “Heavy Metal” exhibit must be submitted as digital images for jurying. For details and the full prospectus, visit http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/hmetal/. The deadline for entries is July 18, 2016.

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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Preserve WV AmeriCorps Applications Being Accepted by Preservation Alliance of West Virginia

The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is currently accepting applications for 19 service positions around the state of West Virginia for a one-year service assignment beginning August 29, 2016.  Applications will be accepted for all of these positions on a rolling basis until they are filled.  Once you apply, you will be notified of the positions that are open or have been filled already.

About the Program: The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is a statewide service initiative administered by Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV), the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in the Mountain State. The purpose of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is to implement historic preservation and heritage tourism projects throughout West Virginia by way of historic resource re-use, improvement, development, and interpretation.  Members’ service will focus on community development and revitalization through projects focused on historic resource improvement, volunteer management, community engagement, historic resource surveys, historic preservation, and heritage tourism development.

What to Expect: Preserve WV AmeriCorps members will be placed with an individual site throughout the state of West Virginia.  The program start date and orientation is August 29, 2016.  All members must commit to serving for 11 ½ to 12 months with full-time members serving 1750 hours and half-time members serving 950 hours. Members should expect to travel moderately, statewide, for different educational training opportunities and other AmeriCorps-required activities.  Members will receive a modest living allowance and have an option for assistance with health care and child care.  Upon successful completion of service, members will receive an educational award, which may be used for up to seven years after service.  More information will be provided upon inquiry.

To apply, either:

Send your Resume and three references with contact information, emailed directly to the program director (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).  Please give us multiple ways to contact you, especially if your email access is not reliable.

OR

AmeriCorps application, submitted under the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program at the website http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/join-americorps. You will have to complete the application to be enrolled in the program.
Once your resume or application has been received, the program director will contact you about open positions and start a multi-step interviewing process.
Positions currently needing to be filled, as of June 5, 2016 are:

  4-H Heritage Program/Jacksons Mill (Weston, Lewis County) - Full-time
  The Clio Project (Huntington, Cabell County) - Full-time
  The Cockayne Farmstead/Marshall County Historical Society (Glen Dale, Marshall County) - Full-time
  Harrison County WV Historical Society (Clarksburg, Harrison County) - Full-time
  Harrison County WV Historical Society (Clarksburg, Harrison County) - Half-time
  Historic Shepherdstown Commission and Museum (Shepherdstown, Jefferson County) - Half-time
  Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (Charles Town, Jefferson County) - Full-time
  Main Street Morgantown (Morgantown, Monongalia County) - Full-time
  Main Street Ripley (Ripley, Jackson County) - Full-time
  New River Gorge National River (Glen Jean, Fayette County) - Full-time
  New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (Hinton, Summers County) - Full-time
  The Old Hemlock Foundation (Bruceton Mills, Preston County) - Half-time
  Preservation Alliance of WV - Historic Theatre Trail (Elkins, Randolph County) - Full-time
  Preservation Alliance of WV - Endangered Properties (Morgantown, Monongalia County) - Half-time
  Pricketts Fort (Fairmont, Marion County) - Half-time
  West Augusta Historical Society (Mannington, Marion County) - Full-time
  WV Mine Wars Museum (Matewan, Mingo County) - Full-time
  Wheeling National Heritage Area (Wheeling, Ohio County) - Full-time
  Wheeling National Heritage Area (Wheeling, Ohio County) - Full-time

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. To learn more about AmeriCorps see http://www.americorps.gov. The PreserveWV AmeriCorps program is sponsored by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service: http://www.volunteerwv.org/

This AmeriCorps program is funded in part by a grant from Volunteer WV, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Volunteer WV encourages West Virginians of all ages and abilities to be involved in service to their community.


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South Jefferson Public Library Announces Exhibit Featuring John Grinstead

The South Jefferson Public Library is pleased to announce an art exhibit featuring the paintings of John Grinstead.  This exhibit is the 66th in the Art in the Library series hosted by the library to highlight the talents of local artists. The exhibit runs from June 1 through July 31st and can be viewed during library hours: Monday through Thursday 10- 7, Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 1-5. The library is closed Fridays. The library is located at 49 Church St, Summit Point, WV.

For the past 5 years, John has been painting watercolors in his spare time.  As a watercolorist he is self-taught.  He had been interested in Art in his youth and now has returned after 25 years.  Some of his original works have been selected into international competition shows.

When choosing subjects, he tries to capture his surroundings. He attempts to challenge both his creative eye and skill development. He enjoys getting outside on weekends looking for subjects.

This is what Mr. Grinstead says about his art:  “Painting provides a great personal satisfaction. For myself, looking back at completed works is not as exciting as looking forward to the next. I hope to master watercolor painting and elevate my interpretations to the purist artistic expression.”

SPECIAL NOTICE!!! On Sunday, June 12th, a reception will be held between 2:00 and 4:00 pm at the library. The public is invited to meet and talk with this talented artist, view his beautiful and creative work, and enjoy the refreshments on hand.


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Christian Lopez and Kyle Cox to hit the road together in July

Singer-songwriters Christian Lopez and Kyle Cox are set to head out on tour together this summer for a series of dates in the second half of July (see schedule below). The string of dates begins in Georgia on July 15th, then covers other locations in the Southeast before heading to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest prior to wrapping up on July 30th in Louisville, KY. 

Says Lopez of the planned jaunt: “We can’t wait to make it back to some of our favorite cities on this tour. We’re happy to have the great songwriter, Kyle Cox, along with us for the ride. See you all soon!”  Cox echoed his excitement, saying: “There’re so many great cities on this tour that I’m really looking forward to playing! I’m really grateful to Christian Lopez and his crew for bringing me along for the ride.” 

Christian Lopez / Kyle Cox Tour Dates:

7/10/2016 – Nashville, TN / City Winery/Eldon Thacker Radio Show (Christian Lopez only)

7/11/2016 – Nashville, TN / Winners Whiskey Jam (Christian Lopez only)

7/14/2016 – Nashville, TN / High Watt (Kyle Cox only)     

7/15/2016 – Duluth, GA / Red Clay Music Foundry

7/16/2016 – Orlando, FL / Will’s Pub  

7/17/2016 – Melbourne, FL / private house show    

7/20/2016 – Cornelius, NC / Old Town Public House

7/21/2016 – Birmingham, AL / Moonlight on the Mountain

7/22/2016 – Washington, DC / Tree House Lounge (Kyle Cox only)

7/23/2016 – Brooklyn, NY / The Rock Shop    

7/24/2016 – Philadelphia, PA / house show - open to public

7/25/2016 – Pittsburgh, PA / Parkway Theatre

7/26/2016 – Frederick, MD / Carroll Creek Amphitheater

7/27/2016 – Columbus, OH / house show – open to public

7/28/2016 – Cleveland, OH / TBD

7/29/2016 – Cleveland, OH / TBD

7/30/2016 – Louisville, KY / Third Street Dive

Info about Christian Lopez:

Steeped in the musical roots of his West Virginia upbringing, Christian Lopez epitomizes the soul of a traditional Appalachian folk musician living in the heart, mind and body of a man not yet even 21 years old.  On his debut full-length effort, Onward, the young artist emulates the sound produced by the region’s resident pickers and strummers and tackles themes of love, perseverance and coming of age. 

Released in May 2015, Onward was produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) at his Nashville-based Low Country Sound studio. “I love[d] working with Christian,” Cobb recently told Native Magazine.  “It was kind of a no-brainer because Christian’s such a talent, and completely natural.  I think he has a bit of Paul Simon in him.” 

Since the album’s release, Lopez and Onward have steadily garnered praise and attention in the media.  Rolling Stone Country proclaimed him “Best Newcomer” at Americana Music Fest in Nashville in the fall of 2015. Lopez also took to the nationally-syndicated public radio airwaves last fall, performing on the acclaimed, long-running NPR show Mountain Stage and later on the highly-regarded Music City Roots. Touring incessantly since the release of Onward, Lopez and his band have most recently opened dates for American Aquarium, The Black Lillies, John Fullbright, Marty Stuart, Miranda Lambert, Sister Hazel, Steve Forbert, and Corey Smith. 

http://www.christianlopezband.com 

Info about Kyle Cox:

It might seem incongruous that the most intimate songs that flow from the heart and pen of a skilled songwriter are also sometimes the most deeply relatable to many who hear said songs, but that is the sonic sweet spot in which Kyle Cox practices his craft. The hoops- and hooks-loving (basketball and catchy songs, respectively), Nashville-based Cox, who recently signed a label/management deal with Rock Ridge Music, will consummate the partnership with the June 3, 2016 release of his five-song EP, Trio and Friends. Produced by Mike Marsh (drummer of The Avett Brothers), the album’s trio format pays homage sonically to some of Cox’s biggest influences: Willie Nelson, John Prine, and Johnny Cash. 

Born a military kid in the Lone Star state of Texas, Cox spent a lot of his life moving around, putting down and pulling up stakes in Omaha, NE, Washington, DC, and, finally in Orlando, FL, before settling down in Nashville where he lives now.  Now firmly pledged to the historic fraternity of Nashville songwriters, Kyle Cox has the tools at his disposal to build a solid bridge that leads to a long career. And it all begins and ends with just one thing: the song. 

http://www.kylecoxmusic.com 

For more information, please contact:

Krista Mettler, Skye Media & Rock Ridge Music .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Photo: Christian Lopez
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Candidate Buckley Slams AARP, WV Press Association, and WV Public Broadcasting Over Debates

Press Release received from Libertarian Party of WV

John Buckley, the Libertarian Party candidate for Secretary of State, today castigated the three proposed hosts of what would be an October “closed-to-the-competition” publicly broadcast debate limited to just the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor. “Shame on the media and so-called ‘public’ broadcasting,” declared Buckley, “for once again turning their back on the public’s demonstrated interest in considering other candidates.” Libertarian Party candidate for Governor, David Moran, was formally nominated at the party’s May 7 convention, which generated front-page coverage in the Charleston Gazette and in West Virginia’s preeminent weekly business publication, The State Journal.

The three proposed hosts of the limited-participation debate – the WV Press Association, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, AARP West Virginia – held a similar GOP/Democrat restricted debate in 2014 for United States Senate, from which three other candidates, including Buckley for the Libertarian Party, were excluded.

“West Virginia Public Broadcasting should be condemned for using the public’s tax dollars to prop up the political power of Republicans and Democrats,” said Buckley. “The WV Press Association is turning its back on the public interest in fair media coverage of all the candidates who have qualified for the ballot,” he added. “And it’s no wonder that AARP, one of the major lobbies for more government subsidies, bailouts, and status quo politics, seeks to trade political favors in return for continued insider access to the halls of power.” The Libertarian Party opposes government favoritism and the continued growth of state spending and taxes. “Perhaps the AARP is afraid the public might like what Libertarians have to say about smaller government,” Buckley suggested.

“If the topsy-turvy events of the current presidential election process have proved anything, it is that voters are absolutely sick to death of politics as usual,” Buckley observed. This exclusive debate is nothing better than the three sponsors responding “drop dead” to the public’s demand for clean, open elections.

“If elected Secretary of State,” Buckley vowed, “I will use that office as a bully pulpit in favor of fair, transparent elections, including in particular the advocacy of inclusive debates among candidates for public office.”

The Libertarian Party is West Virginia’s third-largest political party and is fielding candidates for all six of the statewide offices up for election this year. In addition to Moran, of Preston County, for Governor and Buckley, of Hardy County, for Secretary of State, the Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) is running Karl Kolenich, Upshur County, for Attorney General; Brent Ricketts, Jefferson County, for Auditor; Michael Young, Putnam County, for Treasurer; and Buddy Guthrie, Monongalia County, for Commissioner of Agriculture. In addition, the LPWV has nominated Zane Lawhorn of Mercer County for United States House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District and several candidates for House of Delegates, State Senate, and local office.


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U.S. Cellular in Martinsburg Highlights Smartphone Apps to Lessen Travel Hassles

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (May 24, 2016) – With Memorial Day just days away, more than 38 million* families and friends are packing their bags to kick off the summer travel season. This year, users are putting wireless devices to work to simplify their journey and keep on schedule. In fact, using smartphones and tablets for travel purposes is on the rise. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 76 percent¹ of smartphone owners used their phone to assist them while traveling in 2015, up from 68 percent in 2014.

“People can manage transportation, lodging, adventures and meals from the palm of their hand,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Mid-South, “U.S. Cellular provides access to high-quality networks that keeps people connected in their backyard and across the country, while giving them up-to-the-minute knowledge to make more informed decisions and avoid travel hassles.”

Although inconveniences like traffic jams, flight delays and road construction are unavoidable, using these free apps can help make travel less cumbersome for the upcoming holiday:


• GateGuru:  While passengers report record wait times at airport security this app covers over 204 airports across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.  View and post airport security wait times and see a list of reviews, tips and photos from travelers.

• WAZE: Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money through collaboration. You can also actively report accidents and other hazards you see on the road.

• WV511: As the official source of traffic information from the West Virginia Department of Transportation, this map based interface provides access to current and future road work, current incidents and traffic speeds, winter road conditions, scheduled bridge openings, and other events across the state. In addition, over 800 live video feeds are available to view in real-time from the state’s roadside traffic cameras, with the ability to swipe to quickly move between cameras along a roadway.

• iExit: Ready for that much needed highway break? This app tells you what’s at upcoming exits when you’re on the highway. It uses your device’s location to determine where you are on the highway, and then displays upcoming exits in real time.


U.S. Cellular also recommends these five free travel apps to help plan and enhance vacations:

• TripIt: By forwarding confirmation emails from airlines, hotels and restaurants, TripIt creates a detailed itinerary in one place. Users can access their plans on any device. The app also links to Google Maps to provide directions.

• Uber: Users can avoid taxi lines and get a reliable ride in minutes from Uber. The app connects to a phone’s GPS signal to find a driver near its location and provides a fare estimate. Users also can watch their driver arrive and leave anonymous feedback for future customers.

• Currency Converter: Traveling outside the United States can present a different set of travel challenges, including determining the exchange rate. This app contains more than 190 currencies and updates exchange rates frequently. Users also can set favorites used most often for quick access.

• OpenTable: New food and restaurants are often highlights of any trip and finding the best options in a new city can be difficult. With this app, travelers can read reviews, look at menus and make reservations. If plans change, travelers can make adjustments through the app.

• Dropbox: This is commonly used to share work files and store other important documents, and it can be used for travel as well. Create a picture folder to upload photos at the end of each day. This frees up memory on a device and ensures users have properly stored their memories.

“We hope our friends and family have the most fun, relaxing vacations in 2016,” Waddell said. “If you have any questions or need a car charger before you head out of town, stop in to see any of our helpful associates.”


¹ Between Nov. 12-21, 2015, a total of 735 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX. 

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

About King Street Wireless, L.P.
King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets.  King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia where it is recognized for its involvement in its community both through its economic development and philanthropic efforts. To learn more about King Street Wireless, visit http://www.kingstreetwireless.com.


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, and currently, 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. 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.

 

*Source:  AAA/IHA 2016 travel figures.

 


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United States Mint to Launch Harpers Ferry NHP Quarter on June 8

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, in partnership with the United States Mint, invite the public to the official launch of the 33rd coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.  The launch ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Lower Town, Harpers Ferry along Hamilton Street. Park entrance fees are waived for the day and shuttle buses will begin service from the Visitor Center at 8 a.m.

Guest speakers at the ceremony include United States Mint Legislative Affairs Office Chief William Norton and NPS National Capital Regional Director Bob Vogel. Native West Virginian and Olympic Gold Medalist Vicky Bullett will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

The event will also feature youth participation. The Jefferson High School Air Force Junior ROTC will present the colors, the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Greenbrier East High School Marching Band will provide pre-event music and perform the National Anthem.

Following the launch ceremony, rolls of the new Harpers Ferry quarters will be available from Jefferson Security Bank. Event attendees may exchange cash for quarters; one roll ($10) minimum and ten roll ($100) maximum. Quarters in commemorative packaging may also be purchased from the Harpers Ferry Historical Association bookshop.

Other activities of the day will include: post-ceremony music with the Chamber Ensemble of the Charles Washington Symphony Orchestra; art displays by the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle and local schools; photo opportunities with the United States Mint mascots; “Design a Quarter” youth art contests; an #HarpersFerryQTR InstaMeet; and much more.

The design of the coin features John Brown’s Fort, the site of John Brown’s last stand during his raid on the Harpers Ferry Armory. Inscriptions are “HARPERS FERRY,” WEST VIRGINIA,” “JOHN BROWN’S FORT,” “2016,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”  The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Thomas Hipschen and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.


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Star & Writer of UNBRANDED Coming to Shepherdstown for Film Festival Fundraiser

An evening of great adventure film and fine food and drink awaits partygoers of the American Conservation Film Festival’s spring fundraiser on June 18 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Ben Masters, instigator and lead horseman of an escapade that took four young men over 3,000 miles with 16 wild mustangs, will introduce his film, Unbranded, and join partygoers for the festive evening, beginning at Shepherd University’s Reynolds Hall for the film screening before moving to the Town Run Brewing Company for drinks, dinner, and discussion.

Unbranded screened to a full, enthusiastic theater at the 2015 American Conservation Film Festival and won several awards at festivals throughout the country. This exciting tale highlights the complex plight of the wild American Mustang, thousands of whom inhabit public lands in the western United States. Masters set out to prove the value and resilience of these horses as well as the importance of preserving our public parkland.

This event is generously sponsored by TDC Virginia. (http://tdcvirginia.com/)

Live auction items will include a few valuable and unique items, including an oil painting of a Mustang by acclaimed Clarke County, VA, artist Kelly Heaton and custom-framed by Peter H. Miller. Tickets to the event are $50 per person and all proceeds go to benefit the American Conservation Film Festival, while an auction item will also benefit the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

The American Conservation Film Festival is in its 14th season of presenting the most compelling and informative conservation films from around the world along with discussions and workshops with filmmakers, family programming, and engaging social events. This year’s festival runs October 21-23 and 28-30.

For more information on and tickets for the Spring Roundup with Ben Masters, visit: http://conservationfilm.org/special-events/spring-2016-fundraiser-roundup-with-unbrandeds-ben-masters/

Follow the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/186151971770804/

For information on the film festival, visit: http://www.conservationfilm.org


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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to Open New Exhibit

In conjunction with the National Park Service Centennial, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park announces the opening of a new exhibit on Saturday, May 28, 2016, entitled “Find Your Park – with Maps: A Cartographic History of Harpers Ferry.”

Located in the Information Center on Shenandoah Street, the exhibit highlights a variety of maps depicting Harpers Ferry, both historic and modern. Grouped thematically, the public can examine maps of early exploration, Civil War maps, transportation maps, and more.  A question and answer period will be held during an opening day reception, 1 to 3 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through 2016.


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Soloist Karla Riveria to Perform at Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Hagerstown Seventh Day Adventist invites the public to the a concert to be given by soloist Karla Riveria. The live performance will take place this Saturday, May 21, at 7:00 pm. The church is located at 11507 Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown, MD. The concert is free and open to the public.

About Karla Riveria

Ms. Karla Riveria recently performed with the Voices of Inspiration, directed by Nolan Williams, in a concert at the Verizon Center featuring Andrea Bocelli.  They have also had the privilege of performing for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with recording artist, Matt Goss on several occasions, as well as performing at the Supreme Courthouse and many performances at the Kennedy Center. She has also performed solo concerts all over the east coast, as well as a performance honoring our veterans at the Visitor’s Center of the Washington, D.C. Temple of the Mormon Tabernacle.

Last March, Karla joined the Voices of Inspiration, under the direction of Nolan Williams, Jr. to perform for the 28th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the Kennedy Center.  This year’s lecturer was Norman Lear, who was introduced by Grammy Award Winner, Common.

At the beginning of 2015, Karla joined the Living Legends Singers, a professional choir born out of one that performs annually for the Living Legends Awards held by the Human Symphony Foundation.  November 2014 was there first performance as a professional choir and they look forward to many more performances.  That same month she had the wonderful privilege to perform at the Anderson House in Washington, D.C. for the Children’s Gala held by the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation.  Last year also saw Karla performing concerts in West Virginia, Cape Cod, and New Jersey.  As well as giving 2 performances for the Columbia Union, a request by Ted Wilson to sing for Annual Council at the General Conference, an annual Christmas Concert at Hagerstown SDA Church, a concert for the Cambridge SDA Church in Cambridge, MD, and many other local church concerts.

In December 2013 Karla sang in honor of our veterans in a special service held at the Visitor’s Center of the Washington, D.C. Temple of the Mormon Tabernacle.  That September, Karla performed the role of 1st Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Hub Opera Ensemble and will perform the role of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni next May with them.  She had the amazing opportunity to open for the contemporary Christian group, Selah, in July .  She also performed the National Anthem for the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Assoc. DC Chapter luncheon in Arlington, VA in April.  And had the wonderful opportunity to perform the Anthem again, this time for the Wounded Warrior Memorial Day Tribute held at the Great Meadows Event Center in The Plains, VA in May.


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Bloomery Plantation Distillery makes US history

CHARLES TOWN, WV: At 6:35 am, on Monday, May 16, 2016, Bloomery Plantation Distillery became the first small American businesses, of only a handful, to file a Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bloomery announced the filing of the first Form C generated using the iDisclose application for Regulation Crowdfunding. After four long years of waiting for Title III of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act to come to fruition, today, is the date that this unprecedented opportunity for American small businesses to raise growth capital by using grassroots efforts finally comes into effect.

Bloomery SweetShine, an artisanal liqueur distillery based in Charles Town, West Virginia successfully used the application to prepare and file its Form C with the Securities and Exchange commission in order to commence a Title III offering under the new Regulation Crowdfunding rules that went into effect today. Bloomery has been preparing for quite some time to be ready to launch an offering on this historic day as one of the inaugural companies in the country.

Bloomery is taking crowdfunding to a whole new level as a result of Title III of the JOBS Act. Title III essentially allows crowdfunding participants – investors – the ability to purchase actual ownership in a company rather than simply donating money to a company via a rewards-based program like Kickstarter. With Title III of the JOBS Act comes the latest in equity crowdfunding laws permitting non-accredited individuals to invest in small businesses. Investing was previously restricted to wealthier accredited investors and institutions only. Now friends, family and fans here, there, and everywhere can actually invest in the small Distillery’s future and the growth of the company.

Linda Losey, the entrepreneur and driving force behind Bloomery said that, “Our dream is to be able to take SweetShine from a tiny log cabin in the woods where the Blue Ridge Mountains meet the Shenandoah River in West Virginia and bring it to every state in America. iDisclose, along with our entire Title III team, was an integral part of this entrance journey of navigating the new Form C application. After waiting years to be able to reach out to our fan base to help push us to the national arena, we’re excited that the new law allows this small business to raise needed capital for growth in such a grassroots manner. We’re thrilled to be part of this inaugural class of Regulation Crowdfunding participants.”

Bloomery Plantation Distillery would like to thank the amazing team that worked on the 181 page document, including Bloomery’s outside counsel Michael Funk of Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Brian P Romine, CPA, PriceRomine PLLC; Georgia Quinn of iDisclose; Mark Lee of CrowdCPA.co and Amanda Carmichael of StartEngine, a website funding portal.

For more information about Bloomery, its offering, and to make an investment, visit http://www.startengine.com/startup/bloomery.

From garden to glass, Bloomery Plantation Distillery, takes a sweet spin on moonshine, by polishing up an old tradition and creating world class liqueurs, by hand with, ingredients from their own farm or other small American farms.

iDisclose is an online application similar to Turbo Taxtm that helps entrepreneurs prepare and file the legal documents they need to conduct a Title III crowdfunding offering to raise money for their company.

CrowdCPA.co provides independent review reports on client’s financial statements for inclusion in Form C under SEC Regulation Crowdfunding (‘Reg CF’).

StartEngine.com is a website that allows companies to raise capital by exchanging capital for securities and is one of the first funding portals to offer Regulation Crowdfunding through Title III of the JOBS ACT (equity or debt).


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Artisan Bread Class at Historic Peter Burr Farm

In this two part class, students will: learn how to create and maintain a sourdough starter; learn kneading and rising techniques using a traditional method; make a loaf of bread that will be baked on site; and take home sourdough starter to make bread at home. The class will include a two-hour evening session on Friday, May 20, followed by a four-hour morning session on Saturday, May 21.

All proceeds go to Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (JCHLC). A donation of $40 to JCHLC covers costs and aids in future improvements at Peter Burr Farm. All ingredients are included. This course is taught by Wayne Braunstein and Joy Bridy.

Wayne is a retired teacher with a passion for artisanal foods. He has been a home bread baker for at least 30 years. Shortly after the oven was built at Peter Burr Living History Farm, Wayne took the first class taught in traditional brick-oven baking. He immediately signed on as a volunteer for the Bread Bakers’ Guild, and he took over as coordinator about 10 years ago. In addition to making bread, he keeps goats and makes artisanal cheeses.

Joy Bridy is a potter with her studio in Shenandoah Junction. She has a BA in Studio Arts from Indiana University with extensive experience making and teaching hand-built and wheel-turned pottery. Because of her particular areas of interest she has mastered the art and technology of designing, building, and operating wood fired ovens and kilns. Baking artisan breads in a wood-fired oven is a natural for her. She’s been a volunteer at Peter Burr Farm for about 5 years.

Space is limited. To sign up for the class, email Wayne at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Additional information and instructions will be sent to you by reply email. Registration is not complete until prepayment has been received


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BioBlitz is Coming to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park!

Grab your magnifying glass and explore nature in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, like never before! On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz. BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park’s creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more! The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country.

During this free, two-day event, teams of scientists, naturalists, students and volunteers will discover and document the living creatures of in the park. The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park BioBlitz will be focused on Bolivar Heights and the Nash Farm. Simply go to through the main park entrance on Shoreline Drive and a bus will shuttle you to the site.

In addition to the scientific inventories, a variety of talks and programs will be offered throughout this 2-day event.

Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day, there are activities to engage the whole family. To learn more about the National Parks BioBlitz and activities go to:

go.nps.gov/HFBioBlitz
go.nps.gov/2016bioblitz
natgeo.org/bioblitz


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Asbury UMC to hold 225th Anniversary Weekend Celebration

Asbury UMC to hold 225th Anniversary Weekend Celebration

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV(,) will celebrate its 225th Anniversary during the weekend of June 25-26.  We have planned an exciting time that will include something for everyone. On Saturday; June 25th (10am-4pm), the entire community is invited to join in as Asbury hosts a catered block party celebrating Asbury’s involvement in the life of the Jefferson County community. We will have activities for kids, historical artifact displays and a tour of the Asbury facilities. We will also conduct lectures on Methodism’s first Bishop Francis Asbury (our namesake), the history of the United Methodist Church and Asbury UMC.  On Sunday, June 26 at 10am,  we will conclude our weekend celebration with a special worship service to rededicate Asbury into the Lord’s Service.  There will be a reception immediately following the worship service.  Asbury UMC is handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.org for more information and to reserve your space.

Asbury UMC To Hold Church Yard Sale    

Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV will hold its annual church wide yard sale on Friday June 10th & Saturday June 11th .  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 and to reserve your space.


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Fort Frederick State Park to Host “To Garrison the Fort” Program

Big Pool, Md. – Families are invited to experience life at the fort during the French and Indian War with special kid-focused programs May 21 and 22 in celebration of Kids to Parks Day, a nation-wide day of outdoor play. 

Members of the recreated Joshua Beall’s Company and Alexander Beall’s Company will demonstrate musket firings, hearth cooking, military drills, and host a talk on period uniform and clothing. The living historians will garrison the fort and demonstrate the life of the Maryland Forces from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Visitors will get a firsthand look at the war which pitted the French and their Indian allies against the British and their Indian allies. Fought between 1756 and 1763, the battle brought destruction to the Maryland frontier, forever changing the landscape of North America.

“The To Garrison the Fort program allows our visitors to travel back in time and participate in the daily activities performed by the soldiers and women stationed at the fort during the French and Indian War,” said Park Ranger Bob Study.

Highlights of the two-day event include:

  • Fort Frederick Flag Raising at 10 a.m.
  • Fort Frederick Flag Lowering at 4 p.m.
  • Musket Firing at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.
  • Volunteer Company Drill at 1 and 4 p.m.
  • Military Music at 12 p.m.
  • Join a Ranging Party on patrol 2 p.m.

Additionally, reenactors will teach visitors how to load a 6-pound cannon at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both days. (The cannon will not be fired during the program.) Throughout the weekend, a wide variety of living history demonstrations will take place in the barracks.

There is a service charge for this event of $3 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $5 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. Food, gifts, and souvenir items will be available for sale at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop.

Fort Frederick State Park is located off of Rt. 70 exit 12 at State Route 56, Big Pool, MD. For more information about park events and activities, please call the park at 301-842-2155.

For more on Kids to Parks Day, visit http://www.parktrust.org.

 


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Fort Frederick State Park to Host Colonial Children’s Day

Children ages 8 to 12 will be transported back in time as they take part in a day of hands-on 18th century activities.  Participants will learn about the many people who served and worked at Fort Frederick during the French and Indian War. Activities will include a musket firing demonstration, bread baking, laundry washing, and working with the surgeon. Lunch is included. Registration is limited.

“Each year the Colonial Children’s Day program features a new theme that showcases different aspects of life during the mid-18th century,” said Ranger Rob Ambrose. “Last year focused on the Cherokee’s role at Fort Frederick, while this year will highlight the other people who kept the fort going during the French and Indian War. The five-year program, now in its fifth year, aims to provide children with a series of new and exciting experiences.”

Fort Frederick State Park consists of the Western Maryland Rail Trail and Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area. The fort was built by the colony of Maryland in 1756 to protect western inhabitants and as a base to attack French strongholds in the Ohio River valley. The Western Maryland Rail Trail is a 23.5-mile paved trail, which follows the path of the Western Maryland Railway. Snacks, Drinks, gifts and souvenir items are available for sale at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop during the scheduled hours.

Who: Children ages 8 to 12 years of age
When: June 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Fort Frederick State Park, 11100 Fort Frederick Road, Big Pool, MD 21711
Cost: Registration fee $20 per child
Contact: 301-842-2155 for information and registration


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Buckley Challenges Tennant and Warner to Series of 5 Debates in Secretary of State Contest

Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State John Buckley congratulates Natalie Tennant and Mac Warner on their respective primary victories for nomination for Secretary of State and calls for a series of 5 debates across West Virginia to contrast their candidacies in the fall election. “It is particularly appropriate for the candidates seeking the statewide office that oversees elections to fully air their platforms and qualifications before the public,” said Buckley. “There’s no better way to see democracy in action than in inclusive public debates,” he added.

“I remember primary night in 2014 when Secretary of State Tennant challenged Congresswoman Shelley Capito to a series of debates in that year’s U.S. Senate contest,” Buckley observed. “It was appropriate then and it is appropriate now to let the public decide on candidates after hearing from all of them face to face.”

Buckley was a Senate candidate for the Libertarian Party in that same year. “Unfortunately, Ms. Capito chose to avoid as many debates as possible, but Ms. Tennant showed the fortitude to take on all challengers,” he recalled.

“In this topsy-turvy Presidential election year, the public has demonstrated its interest in candidates who speak directly to the people and not through the distorted lens of paid advertising and behind-the-scenes, ‘off-the-record’ political consultants,” said Buckley. “Inclusive debates are essential to democracy,” he asserted.

Buckley said the public was well-served in the multi-candidate Presidential debates that both parties sponsored throughout the recent primaries and caucuses. As the Libertarian candidate, in a year when voters have proven that they are keenly following the election process, Buckley calls on Ms. Tennant and Mr. Warner to join him in seeking public sponsors for inclusive debates. “Any candidate - for this office in particular - who would avoid inclusive debates is turning his or her back on the spirit of the duties of the Secretary of State position,” said Buckley.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is the third largest political party in the Mountain State.


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West Virginians Elect Beth Walker To The West Virginia Supreme Court Of Appeals

Charleston, W.Va. –  Today West Virginians agreed that the Mountain State is no place for activist judges with preconceived agendas. Voters headed to the polls in today’s first ever nonpartisan election of judges in West Virginia.  As a result, Beth Walker has been elected the first nonpartisan Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

“I’m honored to have been elected to this position.  We have spent the last 11 months traveling West Virginia speaking with voters about the importance of a nonpolitical judiciary,” said Walker. “I believe that judges should decide cases impartially and adhere to the rule of law. That message clearly resonated with voters.  West Virginians deserve a fair court system; I will fight to see that they get it. Thank you so much to everyone who helped us to victory.


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West Virginia Libertarians Nominate Aggressive Slate for Fall Elections

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (“LPWV”) held its best-attended state convention ever over the past weekend, nominated a full slate of candidates for all of the six statewide races (and for congressional, legislative, and local candidates), and kicked off a campaign season vowing to offer voters a viable choice other than Republicans and Democrats.

The Libertarian state convention in West Virginia, held at the Days Inn Conference Center in Flatwoods, was one of the largest state conventions in the country this spring.

For the first time in modern West Virginia politics, a third party is fielding a slate of candidates for Governor- David Moran of Preston County; for Attorney General – Karl Kolenich of Upshur County; for Secretary of State – John Buckley of Hardy County; for Treasurer -  Michael A. Young of Putnam County; for Auditor – Brent Ricketts of Jefferson County; and for Commissioner of Agriculture – Buddy Guthrie of Monongalia County. Moran was the Libertarian candidate for Governor in 2012; Buckley was the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014.

In addition, the Libertarians have nominated Zane Lawhorn of Mercer County for U.S. House of Representatives in the third Congressional District. In 2006, Lawhorn sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Also nominated for the state legislature are: Matt Persinger of Hardy County for State Senate in the 14th Senate District; Travis Simms of Fayette County for House of Delegates, District 32; Eddie Wagoner of Monongalia County for House of Delegates, District 51; and Tonya Persinger of Hardy County for House of Delegates, District 55. James Copley was nominated to run for Sheriff of Cabell County. Two candidates were nominated to run for local office in Wood County: Brent West of Vienna for Sheriff and Stephen Smith of Parkersburg to run for County Commission, District A.

Voters Fed up with Choice of Clinton v. Trump Flock to Libertarians

In other business at its convention, the LPWV elected five individuals, State Chair Michael Wilson, State Secretary John Buckley, Kanawha County resident David Fisher, WV High School Libertarians coordinator Michael Hess of Parkersburg, and Zack Vannatter of Cabell County to serve as Delegates to the Libertarian Party national nominating convention, to be held in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend, at which the Libertarians will nominate their candidate for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party is expected by to be the only political party other than the Republicans and Democrats to have its candidate for President on the ballot of all fifty states, according to the online political daily journal Politico and other political observers.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia expects to field additional candidates as more individuals, disgruntled by the choices offered by the Democrats and Republicans, come forward to run for office during the course of the spring and summer. These nominations will be acted upon by the Libertarian Party of West Virginia State Executive Committee.

With more than 3,200 registered Libertarians on the voter rolls, the LPWV is the third largest political party in the Mountain State.


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The Church at Martinsburg Celebrates 7 Years in the Panhandle

The Church at Martinsburg, which began in 2009, celebrated seven years of serving Martinsburg on Sunday, May 1. Many churches measure success by budgets, buildings, and attendance numbers. The Church at Martinsburg’s mission is to help people find and follow Jesus, and thus, the church measures success by changed lives and personal growth.

The church moved into their current location at 50 Monroe St. (near Berkeley Plaza) just six weeks before celebrating their sixth birthday. Since then, they’ve developed a new ministry for middle and high school students; hired a new worship ministry leader, Danny Sullivan; welcomed 55 new members into the church; celebrated the births of 16 new babies born into the faith family; baptized 26 people; gave nearly $100,000 to local, domestic, and international missions; sent 27 people on a mission trip to Camden, NJ; and donated and delivered 3,000 items to at-risk children as they started back to school in Camden, NJ.

Through it all, one mission remains; people helping people find and follow Jesus.

The Church at Martinsburg began in 2009 when the Lead Pastor, Jacob Atchley and his wife Lindsey and daughter India moved to Martinsburg with a Bible, a plan to execute, a few friends, and a hearty dose of determination. The couple has added two sons, Blaise and Dietrich to their family since moving to the area. In 2011, Richard Marsh with his wife Ginger and children Meagan and Holden moved from Charleston, WV to become the Executive Pastor at the Church at Martinsburg. This spring, Danny Sullivan, with his wife Erica and three children; Dan, Jewel, and Dino, joined the staff as the worship leader and a new Associate Pastor will join the staff this summer.

“When I think of the Church at Martinsburg the first word that comes to mind is family,” Atchley said on Sunday, May 1 as the church gathered to celebrate the life of the church. “The Gospel creates family where there is no family. I’m thankful for the joy that is ours as we see the Gospel take people who would otherwise have nothing in common and because of Jesus make us into one people, one family, one church.”

The church now has over 450 regular attenders. What started in a home in Berkeley County in the spring of 2009 has outgrown two locations since then. Previous locations include the Holiday Inn and Regal Cinemas (both on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg) where it would weekly transform three theaters and two alcoves and the theater’s lobby into a church, using equipment that was stored off site each week.

“Since day one we’ve worked hard to be all about Jesus. Because of our deep love for Jesus and His Word we’ve committed to be big picture focused and work to spread the Gospel down the street and around the world,” Atchley said.

The Church at Martinsburg hosted an event at Poor House Farm Park in 2010 where they dropped 23,000 eggs from a helicopter. In 2011, the church sent out 40 members to plant the Church at Winchester, which is serving the community of Winchester, VA weekly. Each November, the church hosts “Operation Thanks” where church members gather, tag and distribute frozen turkeys to area food banks and agencies that provide meals for families on Thanksgiving.

For more information about The Church at Martinsburg, visit http://www.martinsburgchurch.org. Services are held each Sunday at 9:15 and 11 a.m. child care and classes for children through fifth-grade are available, as well as a class for adults. Community groups meet most nights of the week in addition to a weekly prayer meeting.

Photo: The Church at Martinsburg gathered on Sunday, May 1 to celebrate seven years in Martinsburg.
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Shepherdstown Library Book Sale to be held Memorial Day Weekend - Volunteers Needed

FOSL’S Annual Book Sale Fundraiser will be held over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 28th and Sunday May 29th at the Shepherdstown Community Club’s War Memorial Building.

The annual sale is a big fundraiser and a key reason FOSL could donate over $15,000.00 last year to the Shepherdstown Library.  So you are now asking yourself, “How can I help our Shepherdstown Public Library and make FOSL’S Book Sale Fundraiser successful?”  This is how you can help:

Gathering and donating books to our book sale- You may drop off donated books at the library beforehand. We will be at the War Memorial Building to accept book donations for three days prior to the Book Sale (during the hours 10 AM- 4 PM on Wednesday May 25th, Thursday May 26th and Friday May 27th. If your book donation is so large that you need a FOSL member to pick-up books, call Stan Mopsik at 304-870-7227. We will not be accepting Readers Digest Condensed Books, Textbooks, and National Geographic Magazines, but will accept DVD’S, CD’s and Video Games.

Volunteering your time to help us set-up and run the sale-We need many volunteers to organize the books before the sale.  Organizing the books will take place on Wednesday May 25th, Thursday May 26th and Friday May 27th, from 10 AM- 4PM. You may volunteer for an hour or all day. If you wish to volunteer please call Wendy Mopsik at 304-870-7227.

Attending the pre-sale Wine & Cheese Reception- The event will be held on Friday evening May 27th (cost is $10). This reception is for Book Dealers and anyone else who wants first choice of all the books.

Patronizing our Book Sale- Come and buy lots of books to restock your bookshelves and enhance your reading lists. Come to either:

The Wine and Cheese reception Friday May 27th, 6-8 PM (cost $10).
The Book Sale on Saturday May 28, 10 AM-4 PM.
The Book Sale on Sunday May 29, 10 AM- 2 PM.

Special reduced prices on all remaining books will be in effect after 12 PM on Sunday May 29,  and for the first time you will be able to purchase boos with a credit card this year!


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Actress Amber Tamblyn to Get Out The Vote for Hillary Clinton in the Eastern Panhandle

Today, Monday, May 9, Actress Amber Tamblyn will campaign for Hillary Clinton in West Virginia. She will discuss what’s at stake in this election and highlight Hillary Clinton’s commitment to breaking down the barriers holding too many West Virginia families back.

Headed into Election Day, grassroots supporters are making calls and knocking on doors to mobilize voters across the state.

Eastern Panhandle GOTV Kickoff with Amber Tamblyn

WHEN: Monday, May 9, at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Martinsburg Hillary for West Virginia Office, 145 N Queen St, Martinsburg

Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amber_Tamblyn_-_DSC_0082.jpg
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Election Preview: Morgan Voters To Choose Sheriff From 3 Candidates

There are no Democratic candidates on the ballot in Morgan County for sheriff. But, there are three candidates on the Republican ticket. Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10.

Chief Deputy Wade Shambaugh, is running for sheriff. Current Sheriff Vince Shambaugh (Wade’s cousin) cannot run again because of the two-term limit. Wade Shambaugh said he would keep on Vince Shambaugh as his chief deputy.

Wade Shambaugh has spent 16 years in law enforcement for Morgan County. He was at the town of Paw Paw and Berkeley Springs before becoming chief deputy.  He has an additional ten years in contracted security work with the federal government. He said that helps in his work providing courthouse security.

He is an NRA-certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor and NRA F-Class (precision rifle) Expert. He said he has experience in all aspects of law enforcement including traffic control, supervision, investigations.

He said, “We’ve vastly improved training and use of resources and manpower under the current sheriff. We use a detailed policy and procedure manual adopted in 2009, written by Mark Smith of the West Virginia State Police Academy.”

Drug addiction is a major problem in West Virginia. Shambaugh said he’d continually address the problem on multiple fronts.

“We have a great working relationship with the Morgan County Partnership and Morgan County Schools,” Shambaugh continued. “We actively support education and drug prevention programs in the county. Our office provides free drug test kits to parents. We also sponsor a drug turn-in program and an anonymous tip line for the public.”

He said they have a network of informants, and aggressive patrol measures to combat the problem from a criminal activity standpoint. 

He listed three things he would do: 1) continue their policy of mandatory use of body cameras for deputies to help protect the deputy and the public; 2) update the policy and procedures manual, as laws, national standards and equipment change; 3) any time there is a major incident, such as a shooting involving a deputy, he would have it investigated by an outside agency. . (For example, body cameras and tazers.)

He said his actions and decisions in all 16 years never resulted in any lawsuit upon himself or the sheriff or colleagues. He believes the current sheriff is a tremendous asset and he’d like to keep him on the team.

“We’re at the peak of our game. We’re not politicians. We’re cops. I haven’t sought endorsements. The endorsements I want are from the people because of lives we saved or property we recovered.”

K.C. Bohrer said his 30-plus career in law enforcement began in Paw Paw.  He’s been a special deputy U.S. Marshal, special deputy for Morgan County Sheriff’s Dept., special investigator for Hampshire County Sheriff’s Dept. and FBI Task Force Officer. He’s currently employed with the Frederick County (Va.) Sheriff’s Dept. Criminal Investigations Division as a major crimes investigator.

Bohrer said, “I’m the first candidate ever who’s an FBI Academy graduate. I have over twice the amount of experience and specialized training in police work and law enforcement than any other candidate. Heroin overdoses are the norm. I’m the only candidate with significant experience in managing drug investigation and undercover operations. I’m the only one involved in task force and major drug investigations.”

He wants to implement neighborhood watch and sheriff’s cadet programs. He said he has colleagues in the quad-state region to assist in drug investigations.

“I will have a citizens’ advisory board which I announced last March, with open communications,” he added. “Sheriffs have term limits for a reason. I’ll bring a fresh set of eyes to the community.”

At a Republican dinner in April, he directed a comment at the current sheriff and chief deputy. “Running for sheriff is no different than applying for a job. If employers want good employees, they consider background, education, and references, not relatives or friends.”

Candidate Ronald Stotler has spent 27 years in public safety with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He rose through the ranks to Major at North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland.  In this capacity, he said he commands 190 officers that oversee the safety, welfare, and humane confinements of a population of over 1,400 maximum security inmates. 

“I recognize no law enforcement agency can operate without participation and cooperation from citizens it serves. I will establish a citizens’ advisory council and meet with them monthly.”

He also said, “Each of us know someone who has been adversely impacted by the chronic availability of drugs in this county.  I will work closely with federal, state, and other local law enforcement officials to more effectively combat this number one problem that plagues our county.  As for the sheriff’s office, I will implement a random drug testing program for all sworn personnel, including myself.  This will serve to protect them, as well as establish credibility for the sheriff’s office.”


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Election Preview: Morgan County Clerk

Morgan County voters have a few choices to make this election cycle. While many local races do not have Democratic candidates, there are quite a few Republican candidates. There are three candidates for sheriff, two for county clerk, and three for county commission representative from district 3. Election Day is May 10.

Morgan County Clerk Debra Kesecker has been at the helm of her office for a number of years. She is not running again. One of her deputy clerks, Kimberly Johnson-Nickles, who is in charge of handling estate settlements is running for county clerk. Also running in the primary is high school government teacher Kate Stotler.

Kimberly Johnson-Nickles, 52, is a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School. Her father was Herb Johnson of Herb’s Auto. She has an Associate degree in business from James Rumsey Technical. She’s worked at the county clerk’s office for over 14 years.

Johnson-Nickles said, “I’m not a politician. I’m an ordinary person trying to make their life better. I’ve worked hard the last 14 years to learn as much as I could about this office. I knew some day Mrs. Kesecker would retire. My dad told me to stay true to yourself and not become somebody you’re not.”

She believes her compassion, and dedication to hard work at the county clerk’s office give her the experience needed to step up from deputy clerk to county clerk. For 13 years, she has handled the estates. She’s ready to step up.

“At a delicate time in their lives, I’ve tried to help them through the process of probate,” Johnson-Nickles said. “I like helping the public solve any problem they may have when coming to our office. It’s rewarding.” 

She said many have said they helped her tremendously, and she has never had any complaints.

“I don’t have to be trained,” she added. “I know the job.”

Johnson-Nickles’ challenger Kate Stotler is married to family court judge Glen Stotler. She has a bachelor’s degree from College of William & Mary and Masters from WVU. She was the 2009 Morgan County Teacher of the Year.

She served on the executive committee and was an outreach work group chair of Morgan County Citizens for Successful Schools and served on the board of Travel Berkeley Springs, and Morgan County Boys & Girls Club.

Stotler said she believes it’s time for a changing of the guard in the county clerk’s office, and she is the one for the job. Her motto is “ready to serve.”

When she graduated from college in 1981, she wanted to work on Republican campaigns. She got a job at the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C. Ever since, she said she helped others in their campaigns. After that, she taught government to high school students.

Stotler said, “After many years of the same leader, it’s often necessary to bring in someone with a new eye and fresh perspective. No one has the right to the job of county clerk. It takes someone getting up every morning to see what they can do to help. It takes someone out in the community actively volunteering and listening to the concerns of our citizens.”

She said she will listen carefully to the concerns people have for making the Clerk’s office more helpful and accessible to Morgan County residents.

Photo: Kimberly Johnson-Nickles (left), Kate Stotler (right)
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2016 Friday’s @ Five Summer Concert Series on the Town Square Announced

Looking for something free and exciting to do in downtown Martinsburg on a Friday afternoon this summer? Come to Friday’s @ Five for a taste of great music, appetizers and fun!

Friday’s @ Five at the Town Square, Presenting Sponsor by Gibson & Associates, Sponsor by The City of Martinsburg, The Martinsburg Convention & Visitors Bureau and Main Street Martinsburg, Bowles Rice Attorney at Law, Advocate Insurance Group, Dopson & Associates, State Farm Insurance-Kay Lewis Agency, Internet-Essentials from Comcast, Concert Technologies and Miller’s Auto Group.

A series of free outdoor concerts by well-known musicians, bands and Martinsburg artists that will liven up your spirits and maybe even get you into a dancing mood. Bands will perform a wide variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, Bluegrass, pop, Classic Rock, Country and unique Americana and more.

You can bring your own chairs or blankets and sit on the ground. The front of the stage on the South lawn is reserved for dancing.

There is no admission charge to the Town square. The concert series runs from June 3rd through August 5th…..every Friday.

Friday, June 3rd Clement & Williams (Classic Rock)
Friday, June 10th KoKo Blue (Classic Rock of the 60’s)
Friday, June 17th Drew Stevyns (Eclectic)
Friday, June 24th Gary Smallwood (Arrangement)
Friday, July 1st Stoney Creek (Bluegrass)
Friday, July 8th Apollo Jazz Orchestra (Jazz)
Friday, July 15th Tony M. Music (Contemporary)
Friday, July 22nd Willie Barry and his Chaperons (Rockabilly” (50’s & 60’s)
Friday, July 29th Back Creek Valley Boys (traditional Bluegrass)
Friday, August 5th RAZMUS (Classic Rock/Roll)

Exciting this year at Friday’s @ Five Summer Concert series we will have the Martinsburg Farmers Market housed on the Library plaza from 4pm to 7pm from June 3rd to August 5th . To wet your appetite, here is a list of products you’ll be able to enjoy from the market this year: Fresh Fruits & Veggies, Fresh & dried Herbs, Beef, Chicken & Pork, Eggs, Jams & Jellies, Honey, Hummus, Baked Goods, Coffee Beans, Soup, Pre-made sandwiches, Flowers, Yarn and soaps….It’s going to be a fun season. Buy local and buy Fresh.

Each week, a local downtown restaurant will showcasing and offering local culinary specialties: yummy small appetizers. And, to wash it all down, a variety of alcoholic (Beer & Wine) and non-alcoholic beverages are also offered for sale. You also may enjoy a picnic dinner from one of our downtown Restaurants .

Concerts start at 5:00 p.m. and usually last until 7:00pm. The Town Square is blocked off between BB&T Drive-Thru and Queen Street. It is within convenient walking distance from all downtown businesses.

Pets are allowed in the square during the concerts, provided they are on a leash no longer than six feet at all times. If they display aggressive behavior the owner may be asked to remove them.


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Recording Artist, Soloist Rachel Hyman, to Perform at Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Hagerstown Seventh Day Adventist invites the public to the a concert to be given by recording artist, Rachel Hyman.  The live performance will take place this Saturday, May 7, at 7:00 pm. The church is located at 11507 Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown, MD. The concert is free and open to the public.

New York City soloist, RACHEL HYMAN, is a dynamic soprano recording artist.  Rachel will be giving a concert from her new album “Singing in the Dark” which is full of rich classical music that was written during the Holocaust.  She is the first artist to ever release a full album of songs from that unforgettable time in Earth’s history, sung in the English language and with a contemporary feel.

Come and enjoy unique music written by people who hoped and prayed that one day, others would hear their story.

Freewill offering will be taken.


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Volunteers will be baking Rustic Breads at the Peter Burr Farm on Saturday, May 14.

First Bread Bake This Year - ORDER NOW!

ARTISAN BREAD SALE
For the benefit of Peter Burr Living History Farm, Mid 18th Century Frontier Life in Western Virginia
 
Proceeds go to fund improvements to the facility to enhance public use.

Due to limitations of volunteer time and resources, we will be baking very limited quantities of bread.  With the exception of a few events this year, bread will only be available to customers by reservation.  Reservations will be accepted on a first come-first served basis until all anticipated bread is reserved.  Reservations will be confirmed via reply email.  Place an order by Wednesday, May 11, and we will hold your bread for pick up from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

Try a slice of history!
Artisan Breads Baked Saturday,  May 14
Baked in a Brick Oven Typical of the Period

Rustic Sourdough White

Honey Wheat
Two-pound loaves - $5 each

Specialty breads for the month are: Apricot-Orange

Two-pound loaves - $7 each

To place an order, reply by email to:
Wayne Braunstein, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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155th Anniversary of General Stonewall Jackson’s Raid of the Martinsburg Roundhouse

Step into History

The Civil War played an integral role in Berkeley County’s history, and on May 7-8, you’ll be able to live that history at the 155th Anniversary of General Stonewall Jackson’s Raid of the Martinsburg Roundhouse.

The two-day event will be filled with amazing sights and experiences, from a living history village to re-enactors, vendors and a battle reenactment. You can also learn traditional dances of the Civil War era at a special dance, featuring the 2nd South Carolina Sting Band.

You’ll make unforgettable memories and feel like you’ve stepped back into time and have become part of Martinsburg’s history at the 155th Anniversary event of General Stonewall Jackson’s Raid of the Martinsburg Roundhouse. For additional information and ticket prices, visit the Martinsburg Roundhouse’s website at http://martinsburgroundhouse.com/events-2/

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

All events on Saturday and Sunday are open to the public. There will be a LIVING HISTORY VILLAGE as well as lectures as show below.

SATURDAY

9am- Civil War Medical Conditions and Services
10am-Spies of the Civil War
11am-Civil War hardships on civilians
NOON- Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife talk about their roles in the Civil War
1pm-Confederate Generals talk about their roles in the War
2pm-Civil War skirmish and cannon shots
3pm-2nd South Carolina String Band
4pm- Union Generals talk about the progress in the Civil War
5-7pm-Dinner in the living village. Watch the renactors cook over campfires as they stay in character
7-10 pm- Join in the festivities as the 2nd South Carolina String Band teaches the public dances of the era. Come in modern day clothes or period costimes. Cost-$5 per person. Light refreshments are available for purchase.

SUNDAY

10am- Open to the public there will be Civil War era church services
11am-Confederate Generals discuss the War
NOON-Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife discuss the War
1pm- The horrors of Civil War medicine
2pm Civil War Skermish and cannon fire
3pm-Spies of the Civil War
4pm-The hardships of women in the Civil War. Their men had left and they had to tend to house, home and farm


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Martinsburg Heritage Festival - May 7-15, 2016

Explore the town’s history and enjoy exhibits, tours, demonstrations, vendors, entertainment and activities during this celebration of Martinsburg’s unique past and culture!

Featured Events:

Saturday May 7, 9am-7pm: Jackson’s Raid 155th Anniversary at the Martinsburg Roundhouse including a battle reenactment which will occur at 2pm. Living Village reenactment camp, activities and vendors on grounds. $10 per adult with a child 12 years old and younger and $5 for each additional child.

Saturday May 7, 7-10pm: Civil War dance with The South Carolina Banjo Band at Roundhouse. Period dancing will be taught. $5 admission.

Sunday May 8, 9am-5pm: Jackson’s Raid 155th Anniversary at the Martinsburg Roundhouse including a battle reenactment which will occur at 2pm. Living Village reenactment camp, activities and vendors on grounds. $10 per adult with a child 12 years old and younger and $5 for each additional child.

Friday May 13, 6:30pm:  Memorial Ceremony at Adam Stephen Monument on South Queen Street with participation by the Adam Stephen Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, local chapters of the Children of and the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Friday May 13, 8pm: Haunted History & Legends ghost tours of Martinsburg. $12 per person. Call 304-261-7470 for reservations.  Not recommended for age 13 and under due to scary content.

Saturday May 14, 8am-10am: Pancakes & Sausage Breakfast at Trinity UM Church with guest speaker Terry Heder from Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Association at 9:30am. $7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under.

Saturday May 14, 10am-4pm: Tours of Old Norborne Cemetery, on West South Street, hosted by the Berkeley County Historical Society.

Saturday May 14, 10am-5pm: For the Kids, Children’s Museum featuring Irish heritage of the railroad workers with Irish dancing, games, and activities included in museum admission. Irish Dance instructor Sarah Hanshew will give lessons at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. $6 for children & adults.

Saturday May 14, 10am-5pm: Free tours of Historic Sites including Adam Stephen House & Tunnels, Triple Brick Museum, Aspen Hall, Belle Boyd House, Roundhouse, & Sumner-Ramer Museum. Free trolley rides between sites during the day. No charge for admission to historic sites—Donations welcome.

Adam Stephen House,309 East John Street, tours of the Adam Stephen 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; food for sale by Martinsburg Lions Club from the lower level of the Triple Brick Museum.  The “First Electrified House” on the corner of Water and John Streets, at the intersection before the Adam Stephen House, will also be open for tours.

Aspen Hall, 405 Boyd Ave., tours of mansion and old blockhouse by Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; display of 18th century men’s and women’s clothing by Charles Connolly and Rebecca Frye; Civil War encampment by “The Ill-Tempered Men.”                   

Belle Boyd House, 126 East Race Street, tours of the Belle Boyd House and rose and herb gardens by Berkeley County Historical Society and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau; tourist information center.

Martinsburg Roundhouse, access by bridge at train station, 229 East Martin Street, tours by Retired Railroad Workers.

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. 

Saturday May 14, 8pm: Haunted History & Legends ghost tours of Martinsburg. $12 per person. Call 304-261-7470 for reservations.  Not recommended for age 13 and under due to scary content.                                                                   

Sunday May 15, 10am-5pm: Yard Sale at the Adam Stephen House at 309 East John Street.

Sunday May 15, 12-4pm:  Tours at the Belle Boyd House, Martinsburg Roundhouse, Adam Stephen House, and Triple Brick Museum.

May 4-June 4: Pottery Exhibit by the Shenandoah Pottery Guild and an Exhibit of Clocks by Anna Howard at the Berkeley Art Works Gallery located at 116 N. Queen Street. Art gallery hours are Wed 11-5, Thu 11-5, Fri 11-8, Sat 10-5, and Sun 12-3.

For more information about the festival, visit our website at http://www.orgsites.com/wv/adam-stephen

Photo: Martinsburg Tunnels
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Shepherd Professor Benjamin Bankhurst to Speak on French and Indian War in the Shenandoah Valley

On Wednesday May 4 at 7 p.m., Shepherd University Assistant Professor of History Benjamin Bankhurst will speak on “The French and Indian War: The Impact upon the Scots Irish in Appalachia and Ireland.”  The talk will be in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, located on King Street on Shepherd’s Campus.

The talk is part of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission’s 2016 Speakers Series. It is free and open to the public.

The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was part of a global conflict fought between France and Britain to establish mastery over the North American interior. It brought devastation to the European settlements along the breadth of the Appalachian frontier. The Scots Irish were the largest European ethnic group in the British backcountry when the war began and thus bore the brunt of civilian casualties. News from the bleeding frontiers shocked and deeply touched newspaper readers in those Irish counties from which many of the victims had originated. Dr. Bankhurst will examine how news of the struggles of Scots Irish settlers resonated among Irish communities with family links to the Appalachian frontier and the Shenandoah Valley.

D
r. Bankhurst comes from London where he was a guest teacher at the London School of Economics, a visiting lecturer at King’s College London, a visiting lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, and a visiting lecturer at the Florida State University London Study Centre.

For further information, contact Historic Shepherdstown Administrator Teresa McLaughlin, 304-876-0910 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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13th Annual Washington County Museum Ramble Underway For May

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND – The 13th annual Washington County Museum Ramble, sponsored by the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites (WCAMHS) and the Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), will take place during the month of May. The month marks the beginning of the museum season for those museums which are not open year round. The self-guided Ramble encourages people to explore museums and historic sites throughout Washington County, many of which offer special visitor opportunities and programming throughout the month.

More than 30 local museums, historic sites and historical societies are participating in the 2016 Museum Ramble. Maps and directions to participating sites are available at the Visitor Welcome Center in downtown Hagerstown. Information is also available on the Visit Hagerstown website at http://museumramble.visithagerstown.com. Most sites open their doors free of charge during the Museum Ramble and some sites that are typically open by appointment only have special hours.

“Maryland has over 300 museums,” said CVB President Dan Spedden, “and more than ten percent of those are located right here in Washington County. The Ramble is the perfect time for area residents and visitors to get out to an old favorite or go to a site they’ve never been to before. It’s a great way to experience all that Washington County has to offer, and since it’s self-guided everyone can do it at their own pace.”

Washington County’s wide selection of museums and historic sites offer a little something for everyone, said WCAMHS President Bill Knode. “No matter what your interests are – fine arts, rural heritage, American history, African American history, geology or trains – you’re sure to enjoy this year’s selection of museums,” said Knode. “Come take a trip through Washington County and see some of our wonderful museums.”

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. Visit Hagerstown helps to create growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about the CVB, or to see events coming up throughout Washington County, go to http://www.visithagerstown.com.


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Response On Behalf Of Donald L. Blankenship To Statement By Hillary Clinton

Press Release Received from Donald L. Blankenship

WILLIAMSON, W.VA. - Secretary Hillary Clinton was apparently offended by my presence at one of her campaign stops. She should understand that as a lifetime member of coal country and a proud West Virginian, I am interested in any suggestions she has to address the problems coal miners and coal communities face today. It is disappointing that she is choosing to promote her political campaign by demonizing me.

It is no secret that I have made enemies in high places by defending coal miners and by being critical of mine regulators and government bureaucrats who seek to destroy miners’ jobs.

Secretary Clinton routinely claims that investigations into her conduct occur for political purposes, so she should understand better than most that Mr. Goodwin launched his campaign for governor by unjustly prosecuting me.

Ms. Clinton has made no effort to understand anything about the UBB explosion. She has not even read, much less considered, the mine law safety enhancements I have posted on my website at donblankenship.com.

My suggestions will save coal miners’ lives. How can she or anyone argue that more air is not better for coal miners, that mapping does not need to be improved or that MSHA should be allowed to continue to investigate itself.

I do hope that whoever is elected will demand a truly independent investigation of the UBB explosion, the cover-up of the facts by MSHA, the disappearance of emails and the destruction of government documents. Someday the truth about MSHA’s failure at UBB and its frantic effort to protect itself in the aftermath will have to be told.


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Tickets On Sale Now For May 13 Friends Of Music Fundraising Gala

Tickets are still available for the Friends of Music’s 9th Annual Tuxedo Junction fundraising gala in Shepherdstown the evening of Friday, May 13.

The event will be held at the Bavarian Inn starting at 6:30 p.m.
Admission will be $100 per person. Everyone is invited to attend.

The event will include a cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, music by the EJ-House Party Band, and dancing until 11:00 p.m.

This year’s event is being themed the “Two Rivers Derby” to fit the spring horse-racing season. Attendees are being asked to wear their boldest Kentucky Derby Hats and compete for a best “Proper Topper” award. Other competitions will include a Wine Pull and “Dicey Horse Races.

The Dicey Horse Races will involve stick horses, available for purchase at $200 each. Owners will designate their jockeys and there will be three races of six horses each. Horses are advanced by rolling dice. The winner of each race will receive a trophy and a photo op in the winner’s circle.

There will also be a silent auction.

All proceeds will be used to support the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra and the other musical performances the Friends of Music sponsor.

Tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at http://www.friendswv.org or by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 304-876-5765.

Dress for the event will be jacket or Black Tie.

The Friends of Music organization is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. The group established the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra in 2007. The Orchestra’s Music Director is Dr. Jed Gaylin, who is also Music Director of the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore.

Full information about the Friends is available at http://www.friendswv.org.


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Call for Artists: “Art of the Portrait” at the Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Arts Council announces “The Art of the Portrait”, a juried exhibit to showcase the art of the portrait. All 2-dimensional artwork framed up to 36 inches in the long dimension, including but not limited to painting, photography, and mixed media is eligible. 3-dimensional works and self portraits are acceptable. The exhibit will be displayed from July 13 - August 6, 2016 in the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

Entries are by digital images sent by email. Please read the full instructions at http://wp.me/pDwaf-Eg.

Deadline for entries June 23. There is no entry fee. Accepted artists will be asked to make a donation to support the gallery at the time work is delivered. Jurying of the digital submissions will be done by a committee of Berkeley Art Works artists by June 30 and work is to be delivered to the gallery between July 6 and July 10. For more information email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 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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WVCALA: Justice Benjamin’s Record On The Supreme Court Should Concern West Virginians

Press release received from WVCALA

Charleston, W.Va. – To help inform West Virginians about the judicial philosophy of Justice Brent Benjamin, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) today released a series of decisions from the Supreme Court of Appeals that show a pattern of judicial activism from Justice Benjamin.

“Justice Benjamin is traveling across West Virginia urging voters to examine his twelve-year record on the state’s highest court. We have also encouraged voters to examine his record, which will provide them the opportunity to view his judicial philosophy, and the decisions he has supported that have raised concern among West Virginians who want our state’s highest court to exhibit fairness and impartiality and respect for the rule of law,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

Justice Brent Benjamin’s Cases of Concern:

Morris v. Crown Equipment, Case No. 32751 (W.Va. 2006)
This case highlights the issue of venue shopping in West Virginia. The plaintiff was a resident of Virginia, he was injured in Virginia, and he filed the lawsuit against an Ohio Company in West Virginia. Justice Benjamin joined liberal Justices Robin Davis, Larry Starcher, and Joe Albright to allow this case to proceed in West Virginia’s court system despite its questionable connections to West Virginia.
   
Kenney v. Liston, Case No. 13-0427 (W.Va. 2014)
In this case, Justice Benjamin and the court’s majority held that the collateral source rule permits parties in a lawsuit to recover medical costs even if a healthcare provider agrees to reduce, discount, or write off a portion of or all of the medical costs. This will allow parties in a lawsuit and their lawyers to recover “phantom damages” that may have never been incurred or even paid by anyone on the parties’ behalf.
   
Tug Valley Pharmacy v. All Plaintiffs Below, Case No. 14-0144 (W.Va. 2015)
In this case, Justice Benjamin and fellow liberal justices Robin Davis and Margaret Workman decided to enable criminals and their attorneys to profit from illegal behavior. The majority decided that twenty-nine plaintiffs, who have admitted to drug-related crimes, could file lawsuits against doctors, pharmacies and medical centers claiming that they contributed to the plaintiffs’ addictions to controlled substances. The legislature passed the wrongful conduct rule into law to correct this decision.

The opinions for these cases, which Justice Brent Benjamin supported, are publicly available on the Supreme Court of Appeals website at http://www.courtswv.gov.

Stauffer continued, “These cases represent a small sampling of the cases in which Justice Brent Benjamin joined with Justice Robin Davis in exhibiting judicial activism. Justice Benjamin’s record on our court is an area of concern for many West Virginians who support a fair and balanced court. Nearly every organization that supported his election in 2004 now supports other candidates.”

Additionally, annual reports show that during Justice Benjamin’s term on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the budget for West Virginia’s court system has increased by 80 percent from nearly $80 million in 2005 to nearly $145 million in 2016.

“Justice Benjamin claims he is a conservative and a constitutionalist, but his record on our court is anything but conservative. When you review his record, you understand why hundreds of millionaire personal injury lawyers and their friends gave him thousands of dollars so that he could qualify for a taxpayer funded political campaign. We will continue to educate West Virginians about Justice Benjamin’s judicial record to help them decide if his judicial philosophy reflects their views,” concluded Stauffer.


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Libertarian State Nominating Convention to Hear from Two Libertarian Presidential Contenders

Two contenders for the Libertarian Party nomination for President will address the state nominating convention of the Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) to be held Saturday, May 7, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Days Inn Conference Center in Flatwoods, WV.

Gary Johnson, former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico and the LP’s nominee for President in 2012, and Austin Petersen, founder of the online news site The Libertarian Republic, both have confirmed their attendance and speaking before the Mountain State’s libertarian faithful. The LPWV state convention is expected to be its largest ever and will elect five delegates to the Libertarian Party’s national convention in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend.

With the prospect that the Republican and Democrat presidential nominations might go to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, respectively, the Libertarian Party, the only other political party whose candidate for President will be on the ballot in all 50 states, is receiving increasing attention in this volatile election year.

West Virginia Libertarians also plan to nominate a full slate for all six statewide offices up for election in November. Its state candidates, to be nominated at the May 7 state convention, are expected to be: David Moran, of Preston County, for Governor; Karl Kolenich, of Upshur County, for Attorney General; John Buckley, of Hardy County, for Secretary of State; Brent West, of Wood County, for Treasurer; Brent Ricketts, of Jefferson County, for Auditor; and Buddy Guthrie, of Monongalia County, for Commissioner of Agriculture. In addition, the West Virginia Libertarian will be fielding candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, the House of Delegates and State Senate, and local offices.

In the past two years, the Libertarian Party of West Virginia has doubled the number of voters registered “Libertarian” on the voter rolls and will be fielding its largest ticket ever of Libertarian candidates for public office. Attendance at its state convention will be nearly 10 times the attendance achieved in 2014 and by every objective measure has become the third largest political party in the Mountain State.


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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to Host Special National Park Service Centennial Hike

Press release received from the National Park Service

In conjunction with the National Park Service Centennial, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park invites the public to participate in a special hike of Loudoun Heights on Monday, May 9, 2016, at 9:30 AM.  This 6-mile round-trip hike to Split Rock will offer a history of the mountain along with beautiful scenery.  The approximately 4 hour long hike is very strenuous and participants should plan to wear proper footwear, carry plenty of water, snacks, and a lunch.  Pre-registration for this hike is required and is limited to 20 people.  Participants should pay the National Park Service entrance fee at the Park Entrance Station and ride the shuttle bus to Lower Town.  The program will begin on the Green near the shuttle drop-off.  For additional information or to register, please call 304-535-6038.


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Spring Concert And Silent Auction “Faith, Hope And Love”

The inspirational theme of “Faith, Hope and Love” has been chosen for the Jefferson County Community Choir’s Spring 2016 Concert and Silent Auction.  Join this dedicated group of Jefferson County singers and community supporters for their concert on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 3pm in the Social Hall of St. James Catholic Church, 49 Crosswinds Drive, Charles Town, WV 25414.  Special guests for this concert will be the Holy Trinity Ensemble Choir and instrumentalists Jacob and Julianna Perkowski.  All proceeds benefit St. James Gabriel Project Fund which assist mothers, babies and grandparents with essential items. The requested admission donation is $5 (check or cash), baby gift or gift card.

The Jefferson County Community Choir was founded by Roberta Ranelli in 2011 with the goal of inviting those who love to sing in Jefferson County to come together twice per year to rehearse, put on a great choral music concert and hold a silent auction to raise spirits and funds for Jefferson County community needs.  Shepherdstown resident Judith Pharr is the current musical director of the choir. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 7-9pm at St. James Church in Charles Town.

In their four and one half years they have raised almost $18,000 providing support for Washington High School Honor Society Meals on Wheels and Winter Coat Drive, WHS band, art and choral music programs, Jefferson County High School Cougars Go the College Fund, as well as the choral, band and drama departments.  Additionally, they have been invited to perform additional concerts at the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg.

Be sure to save the date - Sunday, May 1st at 3pm to enjoy a diverse and uplifting musical concert of “Faith, Hope, and Love” the whole family will enjoy and silent auction items you most certainly will want to take home!

For more information please contact Judith Pharr, Musical Director at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 304 876-0639.


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Shepherd Preparatory Orchestra, Junior Strings Ensemble, and Preparatory Chorus in concert

The Shepherd University Department of Music Preparatory Division is pleased to present the Shepherd Preparatory Orchestra, Junior Strings Ensemble, and Preparatory Chorus in concert on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center Theater.

The Shepherd Preparatory Chorus under the direction of Dr. David Gonzol, Associate Professor and Director of Music Education at Shepherd, and assistant conductor Angela Weaver, will present a program, entitled “Spring Joy.” Selections include Österreichische Bundesarmeen by Johann Baptist Holzer. Bicinia Hungarica No. 2 “Missing the Cracks” by Zoltán Kodály, My Little Pony (from Music for Children I) by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman,a traditional Russian folk song arranged by Mary Goetzecalled The Little Birch Tree,and a traditional Georgia Sea Islands spiritual, Yonder Come Day, arranged by Judith Cook Tucker.

The Shepherd Preparatory Orchestra will present repertoire composed over the span of nearly 138 years, involving the student performers and the audience in a vast cultural experience of music, history, and passion. The ensemble will be performing Sergei Prokofiev’s rousing “Montagues and Capulets” from Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2 Op. 64, Steven Bryant’s beautiful Bloom for Orchestra, Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms, and a piece to celebrate Appalachian heritage, The Creaking Tree by Darol Anger. The orchestra will round out their performance with the always-intriguing Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, and the third movement of Edvard Grieg’s beloved Piano Concerto in A minor, featuring special guest soloist Jackie Liu, recent winner of the Siegel-Hoffman Piano Concerto Competition.

The Shepherd Preparatory Chorus membership is comprised of male and female vocalists in grades 3-8, from Jefferson, Berkeley, and Washington Counties, and meets Wednesday evenings throughout the school year at the Frank Arts Center on the Shepherd University campus.

Heralded as one of the best youth orchestras in the region, the Junior String Ensemble and Preparatory Orchestra are comprised of high school students from Jefferson, Berkeley, and Washington Counties, and Shepherd University students. The orchestra meets Wednesday evenings for rehearsals and presents two concerts during the school year. Enrollment is open and based on an audition process. Shepherd University Music faculty string coaches for the orchestra are Heather Austin-Stone for violin 1, Justin Newberger for violin 2, Kathy Shrader for viola, and Camilo Perez-Mejía for cello. Ms. Renee Shaw directs the Junior Strings Ensemble. Wind, percussion, and string students from Shepherd University also participate in the orchestra.

General admission to the Shepherd Preparatory Ensembles concert is $5, free for Shepherd students with Rambler ID. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit http://www.shepherd.edu/music.


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Morgan County Commission Votes on Ambulance Fee Increase Apr. 27

Morgan County commissioners will hold a special meeting at 9:30 on April 27 to decide whether to double the ambulance fee.  Three fee options were presented to the commission in February to increase emergency services in the county with more staff.  Morgan County Emergency Services Board President George Didawick, Morgan County Emergency Medical Services CEO Kevin Duckwall, and Commissioner Bob Ford support increasing the fee from $75 per residential unit to $150.

They say that would allow for two full-time “advanced life support” units in most of the Berkeley Springs and eastern area, and one full-time unit in western portions of the county. The commission has held three public hearings to date and is taking public comment. 

The fee, charged to residential units, is said to provide one full-time 24/7 unit and one unit 12 hours per day.  Per the ambulance fee ordinance, a unit is any structure used for residential purposes (whether occupied or unoccupied) as classified by the records of the assessor. It includes homes, vacation and secondary homes (cabins campers, travel trailers, etc.), mobile homes apartments, personal care facilities, nursing homes, and correctional care facilities. “Users” are any person, firm, or corporation to whom emergency ambulance service is made available.

Ninety percent of the ambulance fee revenues goes to Morgan County EMS Station 7. The Paw Paw Vol. Fire and Rescue receives ten percent. However, Paw Paw will cease volunteer emergency services as of June 30 to the westernmost part of the county, from Fisher’s Bridge to the Hampshire and Allegheny, Md., county lines.

Emergency services in Cumberland, Md., also provided mutual aid support to Paw Paw. But they have alerted Paw Paw they can no longer back them up.

According to West Virginia Code, county commissions have the authority to set a fee, if necessary, to provide emergency medical services.  The county decides on the level of service: i.e. amount of training medics receive, desired response time, etc. The desired response time is 17 minutes or less.  Morgan Co. EMS 7 had an average response time as of Dec. 2015 of 12.02 minutes.

The fee covers having trained personnel on-call to respond to an emergency, and is said to cover salaries, facility, cost of vehicles, equipment, training, etc. Anyone needing emergency services will also have a charge levied on their insurance company or themselves, around $600 plus $11.00/mile. These are based on Medicare and insurance guidelines.

Despite the name, Morgan County Emergency Medical Services is a private company according to its director and commissioners. The company has a headquarters on Valley Road south of Berkeley Springs.


In 2015 there were 1,827 EMS incidents within Morgan County. Units were called outside of the county 186 times, with the bulk being in Hampshire County 111 times, Alleghany County 27 times, and Washington County 48 times. Co 7 was called to assist Paw Paw 108 times. The total request for service to Morgan County’s EMS units in the year of 2015 was 2,015.

At an April 7 hearing at the Morgan County Courthouse with Commissioners Bob Ford and Joel Tuttle, many residents were vocal against doubling the fee.

A “user” as defined in the current ambulance fee ordinance is a person, corporation, or organization. However, residents criticized why the EMS board and commissioners were not going to charge businesses because it was just as possible to have an ambulance call to a business. The local nursing home pays one fee like private residences.

Former commissioner Brenda Hutchinson asked if enough consideration had been given to charging businesses a flat fee, or raising the fee in smaller increments for all. Others echoed that sentiment. One man reminded commissioners that bank interest rates and cost of living increases for seniors are not keeping up. He suggested a $100 fee to see what the board and Morgan County EMS can get for it. Hutchinson suggested a senior discount.

“The $75 is a hardship on seniors and low income people,” said Hutchinson. “Doubling the fee will be an extra hardship.”

County poverty statistics have been high the last few years. Many said many in the county are in such economic hardship now, doubling the fee would mean the difference between being legal by paying $150, or having needed medications or food on the table. Former EMS volunteer and business owner Trish Shunney suggested keeping the fee at $75 for all current or former emergency volunteers. County EMS board members said they were still considering charging businesses, as does Jefferson County. But, they weren’t sure whether to charge a flat fee no matter the size of business, or charge based on square footage as is done with the fire fee, or by number of employees. And, they didn’t want to charge someone twice who had a residence and home-based business.

Hutchinson said the assessor’s office had ample information on home-based businesses to weed those out and avoid charging twice.

Board members said if a business was charged $150, the revenue would not help enough. Everyone had to take on the increase.

Jamie Cottle said he works with someone who is an ambulance driver, and that taxpayers are “stuck paying the bill” for 911 callers on repeated drug overdoses.

“Winchester has a sticker fee that goes toward EMS,” said “Cottle. “You pay it when you get your tags or renew your license. Everyone pays it.”

Bob Ford did say there were a few constant callers for drug overdoses from families who do not pay the fee, but they refuse to be transported to the hospital after the ambulance arrives. So, they cannot be charged. But it takes that ambulance out of service for others at the time of the call.

Alice Lance said, “If you went three times to a home for drugs and the patient refused care, so you couldn’t bill, why can’t you bill a fee of some kind no matter whether the patient refused going to the hospital?”

One man asked why the county was buying the building next door to the courthouse for $105,000 to demolish it and expand the parking lot a few spaces at the same time they wanted to double the ambulance fee to people who couldn’t afford it.

Ford said it had to increase to $150 to have two units or more full-time. He was adamant that it should have been $150 when first enacted in June 2007.

Didawick said to increase service to the western areas of the county without increasing the fee, there would be a decrease in unit availability overall. All responses would be from Station 7 in Berkeley Springs.  Other jurisdictions from Berkeley Co., Frederick Co., Va., and Washington Co., Md., provide mutual aid support if the local EMS cannot respond due to being on a previous call. At the same time, Morgan County EMS and Paw Paw provide mutual aid to those other jurisdictions.

It was unclear whether Morgan County EMS would use the existing fire and rescue building in Paw Paw for their additional site when they expand, or build a new building between Great Cacapon and Paw Paw.

Russell Mokhiber reminded commissioners Ford and Tuttle they’d said they’d put teeth in the new contract with Morgan County EMS.

“You said it’s up to Morgan County EMS to build a building or use the building already there. Why not stipulate in the contract they have to use the building in Paw Paw (to save the cost of building new)?”

Tuttle said, “They are directed to reach ninety percent of the people in seventeen minutes or less. We rely on their expertise where to put the building.”

County Emergency Services board member Ron Davis said the fee should really be tripled to cover the county correctly, which drew groans from the audience.

Revenue for the emergency medical services comes from insurance billing for completed calls, estimated for next fiscal year to be $474,000, the ambulance fees, and donations.

Salaries for administration and emergency personnel are projected to be $1,455,318.48 with the current and additional crews to be added. Average base pay per hour is $18.75 in Morgan County for paramedics. Base pay in Maryland and Virginia is $20.59 and $19.61 in Pennsylvania.

Commissioners will vote on the fee increase at the end of their special meeting on April 27. Even if raised to $150, the fee may be adjusted annually by approval of the county commission.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/7zeSmg
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Berkeley Arts Council Announces May Classes

The Berkeley Arts Council announced two new classes for May to be held at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

Jean Kellogg will be teaching “Acrylic Textures & Technical Know-How!” on Wednesdays from 1-4pm starting May 4. There are certain textures that can make, or break a painting…a few of these can be found in Flowers, Feathers, Foliage, Fur, Fins and Hair! Of course, there are many more, but having an idea of how to execute them successfully can make a great difference in expressing your subject matter. The class runs for six weeks through June 8.

Judith Becker offers “Creative Approaches to Painting Landscapes” on Thursdays from 1-4pm starting May 19. Learn to paint landscapes with that WOW! factor.  Working from the same landscape reference photo of your choice each week, instructor will present different approaches to paint the same landscape scene but with vastly different results.  This is a unique way to push your own art into new dimensions, all the while learning composition and color theory beyond the usual.  You will surprise yourself with your ability to advance your own art expertise. The class runs four weeks through June 9.

For details and online registration Visit http://www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks/instruction/. Pre-registration is required.

Photo: Judith Becker Teaching at the Berkeley Art Works
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The historic town of Shepherdstown, WV, will hold a “GardenFest Weekend” May 21 and 22

The historic town of Shepherdstown, WV, will hold a “GardenFest Weekend” May 21 and 22.

The centerpiece of of both days will be the town’s 17th annual Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea, which will include a self-guided walking tour of private gardens rarely open to the public and an elegant afternoon tea. Incorporated in 1762, Shepherdstown has many interesting 18th- and early 19th-century homes. Many of the gardens on the Garden Tour will be located on the grounds of those homes. The town will be hosting other garden-related activities both days, including a Native Plant Sale on Saturday and a Farmers’ Market on Sunday.

Both days will also include displays by local artists, access to local historic sites, live music, children’s events, carriage rides, and special spring menus at many local restaurants. The Tour and Tea and all the other weekend activities will be held rain or shine. Garden Tour hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Teas will be offered from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. each day. Admission to both the Tour and Tea will be $20 per person through May 18, and $25 after that. Tour and Tea tickets and more information are available online now at http://www.backalleygarden.org.

The Shepherdstown Community Club sponsors this event, and all proceeds from will be used to support the two important community resources the Club owns: an historic building that is used for community events and a town park.

The Native Plant Sale will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Sponsored by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, it will emphasize plants that benefit endangered pollinators like honeybees and butterflies, and it will include informational displays as well as vendors. Participating native plant vendors will include Hill House Farm and Nursery, from Castletown, VA; Enchanter’s Garden, from Hinton, WV; Bluebell Ridge Nursery, from Sharpsburg, MD; and Star Eagle Gardens, from Berkeley Springs.

There will also be garden art for sale and a local apiary will be selling honey and offering tastings of different honeys. Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, bee keepers and other experts will be on hand to answer questions about pollinators and the selection and cultivation of plants that help sustain them.

The Monarch Alliance of Washington County, MD, will have literature available, including sample plans for butterfly gardens. All of the weekend’s other activities will be free and will follow the same hours as the Garden Tour.

For more details about these other activities and information about parking locations during the weekend, go to the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center web site at http://www.shepherdstown.info or contact the Center at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 304-876-2786.


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Shepherdstown WV will hold its fourth annual “Dog Fest” the weekend of May 14-15

Previously held during August, the event has been shifted to the spring this year to get away from the summer heat.

The Dog Fest 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. Most of the activities will be located on King Street in front of the Town Hall, in the heart of the downtown. All the activities will be free and everyone will be welcome.

The main event Saturday will be a parade of rescue dogs that will showcase adoptable dogs from a dozen different breed-specific rescue organizations and local all-breed shelters. As each dog goes on parade, a representative of the sponsoring organization will provide commentary on the animal. The goal is not only to help find homes for these dogs but also to educate the public about the needs of different breeds and adoption and fostering options. 

Other highlights of Saturday’s schedule will include a community dog show open to dogs owned by both visitors and residents. Sunday will feature three sheepdog demonstrations with Border Collies. This will be a good opportunity to learn how these highly intelligent dogs herd large numbers of sheep with instinct and training. Both days will include blessings of the dogs; exhibits and demonstrations by trainers, rescue organizations, and others; and children’s activities.

There will also be a silent auction of goods and gift certificates donated by Shepherdstown businesses. 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.

The Dog fest is sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitors Center; watch the Center’s website at http://www.shepherdstown.info for schedule details. For more information, contact Ms. Davis at 304-876-2786 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Shepherd Professor Benjamin Bankhurst to Speak on French and Indian War in the Shenandoah Valley

On May 4 at 7 p.m., Shepherd University Assistant Professor of History Benjamin Bankhurst will speak on “The French and Indian War: The Impact upon the Scots Irish in Appalachia and Ireland.”  The talk will be in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, located on King Street on Shepherd’s Campus.

The talk is part of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission’s 2016 Speakers Series. It is free and open to the public.
       
The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was part of a global conflict fought between France and Britain to establish mastery over the North American interior. It brought devastation to the European settlements along the breadth of the Appalachian frontier. The Scots Irish were the largest European ethnic group in the British backcountry when the war began and thus bore the brunt of civilian casualties. News from the bleeding frontiers shocked and deeply touched newspaper readers in those Irish counties from which many of the victims had originated. Dr. Bankhurst will examine how news of the struggles of Scots Irish settlers resonated among Irish communities with family links to the Appalachian frontier and the Shenandoah Valley.
       
Dr. Bankhurst comes from London where he was a guest teacher at the London School of Economics, a visiting lecturer at King’s College London, a visiting lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, and a visiting lecturer at the Florida State University London Study Centre.
       
For further information, contact Historic Shepherdstown Administrator Teresa McLaughlin, 304-876-0910 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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West Virginia Bankers Association PAC Endorses Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Press release received from Walker campaign

Charleston, W.Va. –  The West Virginia Bankers Association Political Action Committee (WVBankPAC) has announced their endorsement of Beth Walker for Supreme Court.

“The Court holds unique powers to dramatically affect our state’s economy and the perceptions by which our state is viewed around the nation,” said Joe Ellison President and CEO “The WVBankPAC believes that Beth’s success as a candidate for the Court is critical to the continuation of stability and reliability in our state’s legal and economic systems”.

WVBankPAC is the Political Action Committee of the West Virginia Bankers Association.  Its purpose is to raise funds to support West Virginia’s federal and state candidates.

“We are very pleased that WVBankPAC has endorsed my candidacy for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals. We are working hard to earn the support of organizations, like the West Virginia Bankers that appreciate the importance of a fair, impartial and nonpolitical judiciary,” said Walker.

As a result of recent changes made by the West Virginia Legislature, the nonpartisan election of Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is scheduled for May 10, 2016. Unlike in prior years, there is only one Election Day for the judiciary – Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the date of the regular primary election.

“I continue to travel across West Virginia and talk with voters about my candidacy, the importance of a fair and impartial court system, and the recent changes in how we elect our judges. Our Election Day is May 10, 2016,” concluded Walker.


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Shepherdstown Community Club’s Back Alley Garden Tour & Tea - May 21 & 22

The Shepherdstown Community Club will sponsor its 19th Back Alley Garden Tour & Tea on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 & 22, (rain or shine) featuring a self-guided walking tour of some 20 private gardens that are rarely open to the public and an elegant afternoon tea. Incorporated in 1762, Shepherdstown has many fine 18th- and early 19th-century homes. Some of the Garden Tour gardens will be located on the grounds of these homes.

Back Alley Garden Tour & Tea Tickets 2016

Tickets can be purchased in advance or in person during the event. When you exchange your paid ticket for a tour map on May 21 or 22, you will be allowed unlimited entry into all gardens during both days. You will be treated to one tea sitting during the weekend which will include unlimited tea (hot and cold) as well as a plate of sweet and savory delicacies.

Tea is served in fine china cups and saucers from the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation. The second floor War Memorial Building ballroom (handicap accessible on German & King sts.) is transformed with abundant fresh flowers and elegantly prepared tea tables.
 
Ticket Prices:

$20 for the Garden Tour and Tea ordered before midnight May 18, 2015

$25 after that including the days of the event.

Advance Ticket Sales in Shepherdstown: Available at the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop and Four Seasons Books both located on German Street, and Yarnability on South Duke St. (cash, check, or credit card)
 
Advance Sale Tickets on line by PayPal: http://www.paypal.com  click on Acceptance Mark to order tickets online.

Tour maps plus a Tea Ticket will be distributed to ticket holders at the War Memorial Building (German & King sts.) beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 and at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 22. The gardens open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Day-of-Event Tickets:

Cash, credit card, or check at the War Memorial Building (German & King sts.) on May 21 and 22

If you need more help, or have questions, write to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

More information at http://www.backalleygarden.org

The Shepherdstown Community Club sponsors this event, and net proceeds are used to support two important community resources the Club owns: the historic War Memorial Building (shown below)  and Morgan’s Grove Park.


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Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church to Shed Light on the Issue of Religious Liberty

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND — In recent years, religious liberty has been the topic of much debate and discussion. In fact, the Barna Group released a report showing that concerns over religious freedom in America have grown significantly. From overt concerns over the right to worship, to people upset about coffee cups they felt didn’t represent the Christmas holiday, the conversation has often been heated.

Starting April 28, the Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church will explore this fascinating subject as revealed through the Bible, in addition to a source that illustrates the topic perfectly: the life of the Emperor Constantine.

This series, hosted by Voice of Prophecy Speaker/Director Shawn Boonstra, will take a documentary-style, Bible-based approach to this topic. Boonstra recently traveled to countries such as Serbia, Italy and Turkey to make history come to life and reveal little-known details about this intriguing historical figure. Boonstra was even granted rare access to a major archeological dig site, on the location believed to be one of Constantine’s homes.

It’s the story of an unlikely emperor born out of wedlock and into poverty, who rose to power against staggering odds, and whose legacy has endured for centuries. The story of the costs and sacrifices made in the name of religious freedom will approach his life story from a new angle.

“This series will be an honest examination of the church and prophetic history that will answer many questions people have today,” said Boonstra. “By simply taking a fascinating trip into the past, the world we live in now will suddenly make a lot more sense.”

This series will address questions such as:

  • Was the marriage of Constantine’s government and Christianity a good thing for Christians?
  • Why did the early Christians have so much trouble fitting in?
  • Did Bible prophecy really predict that the government would persecute the church?
  • Was it a good idea for the Roman emperor to step in and try to solve the internal disputes within the church?
  • If Christians really are Jesus’ followers, then why do they still have disputes?

Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church is thrilled to be hosting this series. Shadow Empire will involve both documentary-style and live elements, featuring local moderator Pastor Marc Swearingen.

All are welcome to attend this free event, and all first-night attendees will receive a copy of Boonstra’s new book, Shadow Emperor. “During Shadow Empire, you will learn how Constantine’s impact continues to echo through the lives of every person on earth today,” said Boonstra. “I hope you will join us for this intriguing study!”

Topics will include: “The Rise of the Early Church,” “The Persecution of the Church,” “A Marriage of Church and State” and “Constantine’s Christianity.”

Shadow Empire begins Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 11507 Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown. It will continue April 29, 30 and May 1 also at 7pm. You may register to attend on-site during this free event, by calling 301-733-4411, or by visiting http://www.shadowempire.com/hagerstown.


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Op-Ed: The 2016 Judicial Elections Are a Big Deal – and the Process is New

Op-Ed From Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Voters across West Virginia should be aware of an important election change before they participate in early voting or head to their polling place on Primary Election Day on May 10th.

For the first time, judicial elections in West Virginia are non-partisan. Candidates for judicial office, including the Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit courts, family courts, and magistrates will be listed on the ballot with no political party affiliations.

The change to the non-partisan election of judicial officers also means one judicial Election Day rather than the usual two. The typical Primary Election Day, which falls on Tuesday, May 10th this year, will be the one opportunity to vote for our judges. Other state and federal officials will still be selected through a Primary Election in May and a General Election in November.

For some voters, the ballot may be longer than expected with the option of selecting delegates to their political party’s national convention. If that is an option on your ballot, be sure to review the entire ballot thoroughly for the judicial candidates, which will be listed near the bottom or end of voters’ ballots, adjacent to candidates for other nonpartisan races, such as the local board of education. While the best approach is voting on each race, if by some chance you are only going to vote in some races, be sure to vote on the nonpartisan judicial races near the bottom of the ballot!

Additionally, circuit court districts that traditionally had more than one judge will be separated into divisions, each having a single circuit judge seat.  Previously, in large circuit court districts with more than one judgeship, the top vote-getters – according to the number of judicial seats being decided in the circuit – were elected.

This year Mountain State voters statewide will elect one justice to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, 74 circuit judges across 31 circuit districts, 47 family court judges across 27 districts, and 158 magistrates in 55 counties across West Virginia. That sounds like a lot of voting, but individual voters will only see the few judicial candidates in their local area.

We encourage voters to examine the positions of the judicial candidates on their ballot and decide which candidate will support a fair and impartial legal system to the benefit of all West Virginians. 

The May 10th election for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is particularly important for two reasons. First, the winner will sit on the bench for a 12-year term. Second, since our state lacks an appellate level court, the justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals are the final arbiters of decisions from lower courts.

Our state’s circuit judges are critical because they enforce court procedures and through their decisions develop a thorough body of law. In many instances, our magistrates and family court judges are on the front lines of administering laws and addressing family disputes.

Judges play many very important roles in our legal system. All voters should take their responsibility in selecting our state’s judges – from those on the Supreme Court of Appeals to local family court judges – with the same seriousness as all matters related to our laws and legal system.


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ResourceU Small Business Training in Berkeley Springs on April 22

Charleston, W.Va.—The Small Business Committee of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce will conduct a free small business “university” in Berkeley Springs on Friday, April 22 from 2-5 p.m. at The Country Inn. ResourceU is being offered in conjunction with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, Leadership West Virginia and West Virginia Executive magazine.

The training session will offer the offering resources to participants:

WV Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Mary Hott, SBDC

Projects in the community and why good community leadership is important – Lori Hansroth, Berkeley Springs - Morgan County Chamber of Commerce

Leadership West Virginia – Pam Farris & Kate Reed

Preparing leaders to move West Virginia forward – C.D. Litton, Essroc Cement
Protecting your ideas & your intellectual property – Julie Shank, Bowles Rice LLP
Financial statements & creative financing – Charles Lowery, CNB Bank
Employment law 101 – Brian Peterson. Bowles Rice LLP
Microloan Program – Jim Gordon, Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action
Using social media to promote your small business – Luke Nesler, IMPAKT
Services provided to small businesses by the Secretary of State’s office

A networking reception in conjunction with Leadership West Virginia will be held immediately following ResourceU.

Participation is free, but registration is required and provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Registration is available through the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce website http://www.wvchamber.com/.


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League of Women Voters’ Candidate’s Forum to be held April 20 at Shepherd University

The second League of Women Voters’ Candidate’s Forum for this election cycle is coming up April 20, a Wednesday, in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History & Education (213 N. King St., Shepherdstown) at Shepherd University.

6:30-7:00 pm - Soil Conservation District Supervisor candidates
7:00-8:00 pm - Family Court judge (District 24) candidates
8:00-9:00 pm - Circuit Court judge (District 23) candidates

Election Day for these candidates is May 10, and the polls are open 6:30 am - 7:30 pm.  The last day to register is April 19, and early voting begins April 27.

For more information on these events please contact Cris Kinsella at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS works to encourage informed and active participation in the democratic process through voter registration, education and promotion of fair, active and open government.  The League of Women Votes of Jefferson County neither supports not opposes candidates but is engaged in local, state and national issues of importance to our community. Please explore our website lwv-jcwv.org/, attend our forums, and become a member.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/5z2jST
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Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council Features Seven Homes for 61st House & Garden Tour

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A total of seven exceptional homes - ranging from historically significant to modern - will be on display throughout Berkeley and Jefferson counties on April 23 and 24 for the 61st Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council House & Garden Tour. The popular event allows visitors to drive from one tour spot to the next in the order of their preference. Volunteer docents from the region’s garden clubs will guide guests through each home, providing information about its history, architecture, furnishings, gardens and anything of significance. Complete tour, single admission and children’s tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount via http://shenandoah-potomacgardencouncil.org or the day of the tour at each location.

This year’s tour line-up includes the Peter Burr House in Kearneysville (Shown above); the Thomas Shepherd Inn, and Lot 12 Cabin in Shepherdstown; Sunrise, Aspen Hall, and Spies House in Martinsburg; and the Bates House in Middleway.
       
The Peter Burr House is one of the Eastern Panhandle’s hidden treasures. In addition to the eight-room, two-story farmhouse, visitors will tour the springhouse, root cellar, garden, orchard and barn and enjoy reliving an 18th century experience with demonstrations of bread-baking, spinning and medicine plus live music of the period. Period fruits and vegetables will also be featured in the garden.
       
The Thomas Shepherd Inn was built in 1868 as the parsonage for St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. The Federal-Style building was converted to an inn in 1983 and has been in operation since. Interesting antique pieces and architectural touches add to the inn’s ambiance. The Lot 12 Cabin next door was demolished by fire in 2013, and then purchased by the owners of the Inn, who salvaged and rebuilt the home in a blend of old and new.
       
Sunrise is atypical of houses featured on the House & Garden Tour. Built in 2012, it is best described as deceptively simple as the open floor plan, monochromatic color scheme and lack of carpets and window treatments all promote a sense of serenity. High ceilings, windows made of “smart glass” (programmed to darken at night to provide privacy) and the use of decorative tile and stone are highlights of the home.
       
Aspen Hall is a native limestone mansion considered the oldest, most historic and culturally important home in Martinsburg - and one of the finest Georgian period homes in the United States. Nestled on five acres, the 6500-square-foot home was built in four stages. Visitors will also enjoy two stone outbuildings (a house and the blockhouse of Mendenhall’s Fort) built around 1750. The Aspen Hall property is quite rare in that it has three structures dating to the French and Indian War.
       
Although strictly classified as colonial in style, the Spies House reflects many elements known as Craftsman, which became the most popular style of small house throughout the country in the early 1900s. Craftsman elements include a low-pitched, single-gabled roof with exposed rafter tails and tapered columns supporting the porch roof. Inside, the home retains many of the original Craftsman elements including built-in cabinetry, flooring and woodwork. Many of the light fixtures are also original to the house.
       
Like many houses of its time, the Bates House started life as two buildings. The oldest section, dating back to 1750, was once known as Sam Stone’s Tavern, and the original floorboards, ceiling beams and enormous stone fireplace attest to its past. The front section, built in the early 1800s, was once the Virginia Inn. The house takes its name from Dr. S.A. Bates, whose medical practice and apothecary occupied the site and whose family lived there for 108 years. Fully restored, the house still retains original woodwork, floors and other features.
       
The house and garden tours began in 1955 when several local women began this spring tradition. It has since blossomed into a major annual event and tourist attraction with over 800 visitors from nearly a dozen states last year. “Berkeley and Jefferson counties provide the perfect landscape for house and garden tours because history has flourished here for centuries, and architecture and horticulture is rich and varied. The buildings and homes that have been on the tour over the years provide tangible elements of this region’s history and include in their stories fascinating accounts of the players and plots over time,” stated the council.
       
“The tour has gained in popularity over its 61 years,” said Ginny Rowzie, tour chair for the Dolley Madison Garden Club, “and our club always enjoys being a part of it. It’s fun to learn the history of these amazing homes we are so fortunate to have right here in our own backyards.” Rowzie said proceeds from the tour fund beautification projects in each club’s community including schools, parks and libraries.


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Downtown Martinsburg Slated for Nighttime Paving

BURLINGTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) advises motorists of delays for paving in downtown Martinsburg on Sunday night, April 17.

Paving will take place on Queen Street, from Race Street to King Street, and continue on King Street, from Raleigh Street to Winchester Street. Work will be done between 7 p.m. Sunday night and 7 a.m. Monday morning. If paving is not completed within this time, work could continue Monday night.

WVDOT is also requesting all meters on Queen Street be bagged and parking be restricted on Queen Street ( Race to King) beginning at 6pm on Sunday thru 7am Monday morning. This WVDOT project is for patching / repairs to bad areas , not for a street repaving project at this time.

Traffic will be under direction of flaggers. Motorists should expect delays and take an alternate route if possible.


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West Virginians For Life PAC Endorses Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Release received from Walker campaign.

Morgantown, W.Va. –  The West Virginians for Life Political Action Committee (WVL-PAC) is pleased to announce the endorsement of Beth Walker for the 2016 election of the Supreme Court of West Virginia.

“A vote for Beth Walker to become the next Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court will reflect the values that have made our state family friendly and a safe place to live and work. She is committed to building a culture of life here in West Virginia,” said Wanda Franz, Ph.D., President of West Virginians for Life PAC

WVL-PAC is the internal PAC for West Virginians for Life (WVFL), the state pro-life organization. WVFL is affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee and through education, legislation, and political action is working to build a society where all human life is respected from conception until natural death.

As a result of recent changes made by the West Virginia Legislature, the non-partisan election of Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will take place on May 10, 2016. Unlike in prior years, there is only one Election Day for the judiciary and it will be on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (the date of the regular Primary Election).


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Meet the Authors at Chocolate Fest & Book Faire, Downtown Martinsburg

Roger Engle @ Latte Da Cupcakery-200 N. Queen Street

spent the first twenty-one years of his life in the small town of Hedgesville, West Virginia, surrounded by his grandparents, parents, siblings, and a large, extended family. He graduated from Hedgesville High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) in nearby Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Mr. Engle taught biology at South Hagerstown High School in Hagerstown, Maryland, for 30 years. While teaching there he completed graduate studies and received an advanced professional certificate from the State of Maryland. He also served in the United States Army Reserve.

Since the release of his first book, Stories from a Small Town: Remembering My Childhood in Hedgesville, West Virginia, Mr. Engle has kept an ambitious lecture schedule. In 2013 his debut book won both an Independent Publisher’s Book Awards bronze medal for “Best Non-Fiction Book in the Mid-Atlantic Region” and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist medal for “Best Overall Book Design in the United States.” In 2015 he was recognized by the Senate of West Virginia and the House of Delegates of the West Virginia Legislature for the work he has done to promote the town of Hedgesville and the state of West Virginia through his writing.

The sequel, Goodbye Mister Fifteen, was released in September of 2015, and has been equally well-received. Mr. Engle was invited to participate with well-known author, Nora Roberts, at her book signing in February of this year.

Mr. Engle has been married to his wife, Gula, for forty-six years and they have two children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He is active in his hometown of Martinsburg, West Virginia, volunteering and serving on various boards and committees. He spends his leisure time enjoying his family, gardening, traveling, eating lots of barbecue as a certified master judge of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and, of course, writing.

http://www.girlsonpress.com/authors/roger-engle/   
http://www.facebook.com/girlsonpress

D. Jeremy Doraido @ Newberry Executive Center-142 N. Queen Street

D. Jeremy Doraido (Elaine Breitenbach)  and R.E.A.D/Therapy Dog Merlin the Magician, a Harlequin Great Dane of noble stature, visit schools and the library to encourage young readers.  Like most dogs, he loves attention while sitting and listening to stories. But after 6 years, Merlin had to retire because of age.  Before Merlin joined the team, Jeremy read to children at schools, alone.  The dog really made the difference with hesitant readers. Jeremy loves to read, but mostly write and is a member of West Virginia Writers Inc. This is a first love of many years. Being with children has sparked an interest in young readers and some of their growing pains. Their need for direction from caring adults is the main theme of Jeremy’s

David is nine when Dad drowns on the last day of vacation.  Haunted by what he witnessed, he thinks life can’t get any worse.  That is until Mom marries Mr. Fulton, Dad’s business partner, a much older man.  To escape the beatings and verbal abuse, David runs away for the sixth time.  He is placed in foster care at the age of almost thirteen, until the court can find out whom to blame.  Fortunately he is placed with a caring man who is a teacher, and understands children and their needs. For a boy that has been accused of lying and stealing, no one will believe what he heard Mr. Fulton saying on the phone about his business dealings.

My website is http://www.doraidojeremy.com 
Also there is a Facebook page for DreamCatcher

GUEST AUTHOR: Laurence Leamer, Best Selling Author and Journalist….

@ Flowers Unlimited-144 N. Queen Street

*Dinner with Laurence Leamer on Friday, April 22nd at Historic McFarland House-409 S. Queen Street Tickets: $25.00 to reserve a seat call the Main Street Martinsburg Office @ 304.262.4200

Early on in my life I decided that I wanted to experience as many kinds of lives as I could. I went to Antioch College, which had a work-study plan. I worked in several places including the What Cheer, Iowa Patriot-Chronicle, a factory in France, and educational television in Boston. After graduating, I joined the Peace Corps and was one of the earliest volunteers to Nepal where I had a remote placement two days walk from a road.

After two years in the mountain kingdom, I was awarded a Ford Fellow in International Development that I used at the University of Oregon. I started writing magazine articles with enough success that it led me to an International Fellowship at the Columbia University School of Journalism. Upon graduation I spent an immeasurably unhappy year as an associate editor at Newsweek. That convinced me that I didn’t want a boss, and bosses didn’t want me. That period was the end of the golden age of literary journalism and I began writing magazine articles for many publications including Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, New York, Playboy and the Washingtonian. I worked incognito in a West Virginia coal mine where I broke my finger and wrote a piece that my agent sold to Harper’s. That led to an assignment covering the war in Bangladesh for Harper’s. That article won a citation from the Overseas Press Club for “Best Magazine Reporting.”

I couldn’t write quickly enough to make a living in the declining world of general interest magazines, and I turned to books. My study of the power players in the capital, Playing for Keeps in Washington, was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times. In 1979 I moved to Peru where I got to know one of the biggest drug dealers and wrote a novel, Assignment, about the cocaine traffic. Back in the United States I wrote Ascent: The Spiritual and Physical Quest of Willi Unsoeld, a biography of the man who climbed Everest in 1963 and had been the director of Peace Corps Nepal when I was there. Robert Redford and Columbia purchased the book for a movie that was never made. Ascent was reissued in paperback a few years ago.

I have many talented friends who can barely make livings writing books. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had a number of bestsellers starting with my book on the Reagans, Make-Believe: The Life of Nancy and Ronald Reagan.  My bestseller, King of the Night: The Life of Johnny Carson, is generally considered the definitive portrait of the late star and has been reissued in mass paperback. I suppose I’m best known for my trilogy on the Kennedys, The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot. My biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fantastic, led me to living in LA for a while.  My book on Palm Beach, Madness Under the Royal Palms, was another New York Times bestseller and a highly controversial book.

My recent book, The Price of Justice, was published to some of the best reviews of my career in 2013.  It is the story of two lawyers’ struggle against Don Blankenship, the most powerful coal baron in American history.  I have been traveling around the country talking to lawyers, law students and general audiences about the book.

Whatever I am writing I always feel is the most exciting project of my career, but this time I feel it’s really the truth.  I’m writing a book about three Southern men—Governor George Wallace, Klan leader Robert Shelton, and civil rights leader Morris Dees—and their interwoven lives.  The book culminates in the 1981 lynching of nineteen-year-old Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama.

I am very fortunate to be writing about such important subjects, and I wake up every day excited to get to work.  I am blessed in having such a great wife, Vesna Obradovic Leamer, who takes care of everything else in our complicated lives.  I’m fortunate as well in having a terrific daughter, Daniela Mantilla, and two dynamite grandkids, Alejandro and Emilia.

Elizabeth Plume Fuss @ Bells & Bows Florist-118 W. Martin Street

A Faithful Soldier Writes Home

An old heavy suitcase that belonged to the widow of a World War II soldier had been moved from place to place over many years. The contents remained unknown other than an explanation to her daughter that it contained “your Daddy’s letters.” After the widow’s death the suitcase revealed a family treasure and a legacy – letters that tell the story of a soldier’s experience in Europe with the 83rd Division and portray a beautiful tale of love and devotion. They describe the heroic actions that earned a Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart. There were also letters from and about the widow’s young brother who was killed when his B-24 Liberator was downed over Belgium the night before the D-Day invasion.

A Faithful Soldier Writes Home shares these letters and also accompanying pictures and documents in appendices such as General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s D-Day speech, Bronze Star citations and an award-winning essay What I Am Fighting For.

Ashley Hammond @ The Martinsburg Public Library-101 W. King Street

She graduated from Musselman High School, and went on to receive her Bachelors degree in English from American Public University, where she is currently employed. She is pursuing her Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. She resides in Bunker Hill, WV, with her grandparents, Pearl and Aubrey, her uncle Artie, and her puppy Ira.

Title: Without Reason

Genre: New Adult

Short synopsis: When Simone first met Jacob, she wasn’t sure what to expect. He was older, mysterious, and a little intimidating. It just made her want to get to know him more, though, and she spent the next decade of her life loving him madly, wildly, and without reason.

Without Reason is the anthology of a relationship between two people who just can’t seem to get it right. Simone details the highest and lowest points of their love story, from their first night to their first fight, and finds herself asking the age old question: is loving someone really enough?

Website link—https://www.facebook.com/authorashleyhammond

S. J. Brown @ The Peking Resturant-139 S. Queen Street

Over the years, S. J. Brown has played with a number of artistic venues. Her love of the written word began in a high school English class and continues on today, but it is not her only artistic endeavor. Prior to becoming an author, Brown has experimented with sketching, stained glass, and even ran a ceramic business for several years.

Her love of wildlife photography began on a whim with an inexpensive 35mm camera, a few rolls of film, and a passion for nature. Quickly, her everyday life and wildlife photography became entwined. Somehow, even with a husband, a job, and household responsibilities, photographing found a place in the mix.

S. J. Brown’s book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown’s photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.

S. J. Brown has published 2 coloring books based on her photographs, 1 for adults and one for children.  In addition her childrens picture books feature photographs for the little ones to enjoy.  All of her works will be available at the chocolate Fest & Book Faire. S. J Brown would like to invite everyone to stop by and talk critters with her.  Her website http://www.sjbrown.50megs features a variety of her images for everyone to enjoy. 

Gage Shepherd @ The Martinsburg Public Library-101 W. King Street

Gage is a twelve-year-old student at Musselman Middle School.  He is the second of four children and a lover of science.  Gage published his first children’s book, “The Adventures of Comet: Comet Blasts Off!”  in July, 2014 at the age of 10 and has sold over 500 copies. “Comet Dives Deep!” followed in 2015.  His third book, “Comet Rides West!”  will be available in the fall of 2016.

The Adventure of Comet Series is geared toward children ages 4-7 and is also a learning tool for teachers to share with their students.  Gage enjoys teaching children about unusual things not found in common children’s books.  Through Gage’s book series, children will learn about Halley’s Comet, goblin sharks, blob fish, and desert ironwood trees.  Melissa Bailey, a professional children’s book illustrator from Michigan, brings Gage’s imagination to life through her beautiful watercolor illustrations.

Gage makes book presentations to school students and attends local events to market his books.  Gage plays flag football, snare drum and enjoys the fun of being a young boy.

Anissa Clay @ The Martinsburg Public Library-101 W. King Street

A 16 year old who lives in Findlay Township PA. She is a sophomore vocal major at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, PA. In addition to her love of writing, Anissa also has the gift of singing and songwriting. Anissa plays multiple instruments and has been singing and writing songs since she was a young child. She is also the adult choir director at Restoration Church of Christ.

Book Synopsis : When fifteen-year-old Delilah Danton undergoes an experimental procedure, she is able to see her future. After her mother dies and she is removed from her abusive father’s clutches, millionaire William Burns and his family adopt her and provide her with opportunities unavailable to her biological family. With this support, Delilah uses her natural talents and works hard to achieve her dreams. Along the way, she falls in love with the most popular boy in school but there is a dark side to their relationship. Knowing her destiny, can she change it? Will her special knowledge of the future force her to accept it?

Website: http://www.anissaclay.com

E. Elizabeth Watson @ Bank Books-145 S. Queen Street

Elizabeth lives in the Hedgesville with her four sons, husband, yellow lab and parakeet. She has a Master of Letters in Archaeology from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. She was recently featured in The Journal for her new release, Prince of Lions. Before that, she was a 2014 Second Prize Quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest for an unpublished manuscript, and before that received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Texas Observer Short Story Competition for her story entitled Freedom in the Raw. She began writing by publishing articles in academic journals Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture, and The Journal of Big Bend Studies regarding her graduate school dissertation and an undergraduate research fellowship award project. Stay up to date with book signings and news on her website at http://www.eelizabethwatson.com, follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Author.E.Elizabeth.Watson/, and find her on Twitter @AuthorEEWatson

Deborah E. Hammond @ Berkeley Art Works-116 N. Queen Street

Author – Facebook and Twitter @DeborahHammon18

I will be presenting eight books at the Book and Chocolate Faire. All books will be available for sale at the event and are found on amazon.com in kindle and paperback versions.

Someone to Watch Over Me – The first contemporary novel by the author, it will be launched on April 23rd. Set in Winchester, VA, Capri, Italy and Wrightsville Beach, NC, it tells the story of Alexandra Wesson and Michael Grady. Although they attended high school together, their lives took divergent paths of opera and the military. As they build their careers, their lives intersect and reconnect until a fateful event in which Michael, on a secret mission for the Army; is captured in the Middle East. Alexandra must use all of her connections to secure Michael’s release and return him to the lives that they have planned.

In Another’s Shoes – Set in post WWI England, the novel tells the story of Jack Wainwright and Deidre Emerson-Smyth who having survived the war, now find that they must pick up in the lives of their elder brothers and bring their estates and their families out of the ashes of the war and into the new decade of the 1920s. Lovers of Downton Abbey will enjoy the time period and the changes in society chronicled in this book.

The Calling – Set in 2015 and 1715 England and Scotland, the novel brings time travel suspense to a story of second chances. Sara Pendleton arrives at Dearby Castle in 2015 for a reenactment only to find herself the guest of honor at the 1715 wedding of the Earl of Wakefield! Together they will attempt to rewrite history for the Warrenton family and find love along the way.

To Woo a Wife – Set in the Regency era of England, the Marquess of Ellingham is given an ultimatum to marry a wife of his grandfather’s choosing or risk ruin. The wedding is the first time that bride and groom meet and they must build a life from this marriage of convenience. An attempted kidnapping brings the marriage into perspective for both bride and groom.

Until You – Set in post WWII Europe, the novel chronicles Deidre Scott’s search for her art curator mentor in the ruins of the war. Aided by a battle scarred veteran of the war, Deidre finds both her mentor and a new mission; to help with the rebuilding of Europe.

The English Rose – Set in Lewes, Delaware before the War of 1812, the story is of two new immigrants to the US; Catherine Wentworth, sent to marry a man she has never met for the settlement of a debt and Cameron McCullum; a brash shipbuilder and designer from Scotland. Together they forge a new life in this new land and survive a bombardment in their hometown.

The Big Sky – Set in 1885 New Mexico, Catherine McCullum comes to the west to meet her Father and begin a new life on a western ranch. Her Father dies before her arrival and she must choose to remain or return to Lewes, Delaware. Those loving a western theme will enjoy.

In the Eye of the Storm – Surviving the Civil War, Elizabeth Majors must travel to London to secure her inheritance. Threats to her life ensue and she must navigate these threats as she forges a new life in the British Isles with her ship captain savior.

Eleanor Parker Sapia @ Casa Visone-120 N. Queen Street

Puerto Rican-born novelist,  was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Eleanor’s careers as an artist, counselor, alternative health practitioner, Spanish language family support worker and a refugee case worker, continue to inspire her stories.

Eleanor’s debut novel, ‘A Decent Woman‘, set in turn of the nineteenth century Puerto Rico, was selected as 2015 July Book of the Month for Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, ‘Latina Authors and Their Muses’, edited by Mayra Calvani, and in the soon-to-be released anthology, Organic Coffee, Haphazardly Literary Society, edited by Allie Burke. Eleanor is a proud member of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, PEN America, The National Association of Professional Women, and the Historical Novel Society. She is a contributing writer at Organic Coffee, Haphazardly Literary Society. When not writing, she loves facilitating creativity groups, reads, and tells herself she is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela a second time.

Eleanor adores her two adult children and currently lives in West Virginia, where she is happily writing her second novel, ‘The Lament of Sister Maria Immaculata’.

http://www.amazon.com/Decent-Woman-Eleanor-Parker-Sapia-ebook/dp/B00TUP47WI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

George Johnson @ Patterson’s Drug Store-134 S. Queen Street

A retired school teacher from Prince George’s County, Maryland.  He is a long time member of The Desert Rose Cafe Writers Group of Williamsport, Maryland.  His ambition to write came after he turned seventy years of age.  Acre, his first book took five years to complete.  Since, he has written two other books, plus a huge collection of short stories he hopes to publish in the near future.

My book Acre is about a boy who dreamed of playing major league baseball.  He worked very hard and made the majors at age 16, setting all kinds of records.  The book is bad language free and is suitable for any school library.  Included in the book are sadness, happiness, thrills, chills, and plenty of baseball.  He declared he would only play for ten years, and he retired at age twenty six to keep a promise.

Cheryle LaVonne @ Boyd’s Steakhouse-109 N. Queen Street

A resident of Martinsburg, WV, where she is a mother of two, grandmother of one grandson, a sister, aunt and friend to many.  She works full time for the federal government as a Database Administrator and writes as a hobby and business venture.  Cheryle is a self-published writer of romance fiction.

Her first novel, Ready for Love, was released in April 2013 and it received wonderful feedback.  Readers wanted more so she wrote the sequel, Living in Love, which was released in October 2014.  She is currently working on a third novel and plans to release it in early 2017.

To date Cheryle LaVonne has created a program for young ladies age 12-18 to encourage self-respect and to enhance self-esteem with a biblical basis.  My Beauty Inside and Out was welcomed at City of Hope Church, and the young ladies were excited about it.  As a result, she is adding more phases to cover other information helpful to releasing our young ladies into society.  It is her goal to present this program to youth groups in churches as well as civic communities.

Cheryle LaVonne has participated in the Chocolate Fest and Book Faire before and this will be the third time participating as an author.  Her inspirational phrase is ‘Share love today in preparation to share more love tomorrow!’  More information may be found at http://www.cherylelavonneconcepts.com, where her novels may be purchased in paperback version.  Ebook versions of both novels are available via http://www.amazon.com.

S. Marshall Wilson @ Uncle Joe Barbershop-204 N. Queen Street

Is the husband of a formidable woman and father of the mighty nine. He grew up in the southern United States and joined the Army as an Infantry Officer. He has lived in such exotic locales as Peru, where he served as a teacher among tribal people in the Amazon River basin;Iraq, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service as a commander of Sappers;and Germany, where he served as a military spouse and general agitator.He prefers to live among and write about strong people who live purposefully and occasionally make mistakes.

All men have heard tales of Mathan son of Ardal, Mad Bear of the Western Dearth, but who can say if any are true?

One man knows.

For forty years, Tigue, Bard of Taermun, stumbled beside him, carried his burdens and fought his wars. He was there in Mathan’s youth. He was there at the end.

Pay heed then to the declaration of the bard for herein is no mere tale, but the faithful testimony of a scrupulous witness… and a legend of the truest sort.

Daniel Boyd @ Boyd’s Steakhouse-109 N. Queen Street

Author of the new graphic novel Carbon is receiving its big national rollout from publisher Caliber Comics. Hollywood is showing interest in several Caliber titles, including Carbon. Boyd, a West Virginia State University Professor when he’s not making indy films and writing graphic novels, is about to wind up on the wrong side of the fence from a lot of his Mountain State neighbors.

In Boyd’s Carbon epic, the only thing that stands in the way of the end of the world is a tight knit group of courageous coal miners. In fact, Boyd dedicated Carbon to coal miners and says “ whatever side of the debate over the industry you fall on, miners are the often the unsung heroes.” Boyd says that he’s 100% “pro-miner,” and that his graphic novels “primary goal is to entertain, but the story also reflects many real and complicated issues that face the coal industry today.”

Zero Gravity Management in LA represents Carbon publisher Caliber Comics intellectual property for development across all multimedia platforms. “This could ultimately result in a Carbon movie or television series, which of course could be great for West Virginia and the people here. Somehow I doubt if the West Virginia Coal Association will be coming aboard as a supporter though, and that’s pretty bad, since they’re supposedly beloved coal miners are the heroes of our story,” says Boyd.  “But they know where their bread is buttered, and I’m sure some coal operators, will have something to say after they get their hands on Carbon.”  Boyd is also a filmmaker of cult classics including Strangest Dreams: Invasion of the Space Preachers and Chillers (the big screen version of one of his previous graphic novels). Troma has just rolled out a DVD double feature of these two will be available on his website.

“Boyd marries sci-fi monster flick ideas with Appalachian tragedy, showing us imaginative allegory and authentic profundity do not have to be mutually exclusive.” Chris Oxley, Ain’t it Cool News.

BOOK: http://www.danielboyd.com/shop or www.amazon.com/Carbon-Daniel-Boyd
WEBSITE: http://www.danielboyd.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DanielBoydAuthor

Tami Cox (Rasel) @ Yes, M.A.M.-123 N. Queen Street

Born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother was from Martinsburg, WV and Tami spent many of her teenage summers in the Martinsburg area. Always having had a love for books, there is never a time she is not reading one. Authors Betty Smith and Earl Hamner Jr. are among some of her heroes and her greatest inspiration. Currently, Tami has written and published four novels: Her first novel, “The Spirits of Gettysburg;Tales of a Ghost Tour Guide” was published in her married name, Tami Rasel. Her current novels are the “Blue Moon Over Martinsburg” series by Tami Cox. Her short story, “The Bravest Damn Irishmen in Baltimore” by Tami Rasel, has won several awards including a special recognition from The Writer’s Digest and has been published in two anthologies. Tami Cox (Rasel) has written for the Harrisburg Examiner, The Civil War Courier, and The York Daily Record. She currently resides outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with her husband and her yellow lab, Sadie.

Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Tami-Cox/e/B00IIU9UKA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

“Michael T” Myers @ Crim De La Crim Antiques-137 N. Queen Street

A graduate of Hagerstown Community College and Shepherd University.  He is a Magician, Minister, Motivational Speaker, Emcee, Hypnotherapist, Teacher, Poet, WV Auctioneer #1704 and now a Children’s Author.  Michael T. lives in Falling Waters, WV with his beautiful wife, J.J.  As an educator, Michael T. likes to teach with everything he does.  His newest book, “The Land of the 5R’s” is a reflection of his lifelong belief that the path to success and happiness is through paying attention in school, taking responsibility for our actions, and respecting others.

Bob O’Connor @ Habanero Mexican Grill-100 N. Queen Street

Books:

“The Perfect Steel Trap Harpers Ferry 1859”—The John Brown raid, capture, trial and execution

“The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln” The story of Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon

“Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War”—story of a real slave and his attempt to become a free man

“The US Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison” First account of the black prisoners in the infamous Civil War Prison

“The Centennial History of Ranson WV—1910 - 2010”

“The Life of Abraham Lincoln: As President” written by Ward Hill Lamon circa 1880 and edited by Bob O’Connor from his unpublished manuscript

“A House Divided Against Itself”—Story of the only two brother who fought against each other twice during the Civil War

“The Return of Catesby”—sequel to “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War”—Story of the first colored male teacher at Storer College

“Countdown to WV Statehood”—Story of how the state of West Virginia was formed.

The Amazing Legacy of James E. Hanger, Civil War Soldier—The story of the Civil War’s first amputee and his company that today is 154 years old

Roger Kirby @ TLC Photography-155 N. Queen Street

Author of Letter to Autumn, a Fathers Love storyThis story is 12 years of a journey taken by me as a grieving father, my ups and downs and how I process loss. On April 8, 2001 I experienced the worst day of my life, the loss of my beautiful 19 month old daughter Autumn Rae. It was a day like any other I had gone to work that beautiful Sunday morning, finished my day and returned home. Home is where the heart is and where my family and I live and love. We reside in a very rural area at the base of the mountain 3 miles off the secondary road in the pastoral setting. I’ve heard it said that men grieve entirely different than women I know this to be a fact my wife Michelle and I process this loss entirely different this is the loss through my eyes as a father.

Barry Robert Starliper @ The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau-126 E. Race Street @ Belle Boyd House

Author of The Apostle Jesus-The Kingdom Among Us

Much of what is called “apostolic” in the church today does not measure up to the biblical model, says Barry Starliper in The Apostle Jesus. In many cases, the so-called “apostolic” has become simply another avenue for self-styled “apostles” to exert control over other believers. True apostolic ministry takes after the ministry of Jesus Christ, the first Apostle, or “sent one,” from God. Jesus came to inaugurate the Kingdom of heaven, not establish an institution. He came to liberate the lost, not found a religion. Unfortunately, the body of Christ on earth got off track almost from the beginning: “Jesus came preaching the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church.” After His ascension and the deaths of all the original apostles, the non-sectarian, egalitarian family of believers that Christ called together as His “church,” His body on earth, morphed into the “Church,” a rigid, institutionalized religious edifice full of rituals, rules, and hierarchies of authority that are completely foreign to the Kingdom of heaven that Christ preached. Religion has replaced dynamic relationships with the living Word of God, the Apostle Jesus. In The Apostle Jesus, Barry Starliper unpacks these issues and reveals the true church, the true Kingdom of heaven—and the true Jesus—you have always wanted to know.

Michelle & Frank Ceravalo @ BBI Realty-123 S. Queen Street

Award-winning photographer frames West Virginia landscapes

In February 1983 the Shenandoah Valley experienced a 30-inch snowfall. One of the things Frank Ceravalo and his new wife realized was that they did not have a camera to take pictures of the event. As soon as the snow melted enough to move, they went to a local photo shop and purchased a used 35mm range finder camera. Ceravalo was given a 12-exposure roll of film and told to go out, give it a try, and bring the camera back if he did not like the results. One of the images from that roll resulted in his first landscape. Since then he has improved his technique and equipment, but the main focus of his photography has remained the same: nature and landscape photography.

Frank Ceravalo’s new book of Mountain State landscapes – West Virginia A Wider View – recently won Best Photography Book at the 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival in Chicago. It is published by Headline Books Inc. in Terra Alta.

“This book represents a body of work I started in 2002 focused on producing images with a wider-than-normal aspect ratio from some of my favorite places around West Virginia,” Ceravalo said. “These panoramic images provide a unique perspective to the landscape of my home state. Whether the shot was taken after multiple trips in the middle of the night to the same location, or a single moment in time captured quickly before it passed, each capture tells its own story.

“One of my goals in photography is to produce a final product that invites the viewer to step into the scene,” he said. “These wider format images provide a vehicle for doing just that. I hope that as you view the pages of this book you feel yourself transported to these wonderful places our state has to offer.”

Ceravalo’s formal photographic training consists of adult education classes and several seminars. The majority of his education has been from personal reading, analyzing the work and technique of the top nature and landscape photographers, and his own experimentation in the field. Ceravalo has a BS degree in chemical engineering and spent more than 25 years in industry and feels that the training as an engineer has helped with the technical aspect of photography. More importantly the use of the engineering mindset of always looking for different ways of viewing a situation and adapting to it assists in capturing the image. He particularly likes morning for the quality of light but also for the effects of fog that are more prominent in the morning.

A majority of Ceravalo’s work is from West Virginia, Virginia, and Western Maryland, but also includes images from a variety of places like the Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Alaska, Maine, Bavaria, Japan and Italy.

Ceravalo started with 35mm film and now shoots totally in digital to produce his photographs, viewing the type of camera used as only the tool to achieve the desired image. With these tools My website is http://www.vistawv.com

Michelle Ceravalo

Michelle Ceravalo is a proud West Virginia native.  Her love for education began as a volunteer at her children’s school, which later led to receiving her teaching degree.  She taught for fourteen years until her love for education drew her to expand her horizons as an author of student text/workbooks and teacher guides.  She continues to be a substitute teacher so she can continue working in the classroom and interacting with students.

Wendi Hartman @ BE Hive-205 N. Queen Street

A woman with a very diverse background. The daughter of a career firefighter and Pennsylvania farm girl, she learned the value of hard work and caring about others from her youth on up. As a Christian believer, a graduate of a small Christian college, and a friend to many in he plain communities, Wendi believes it is very important to live one’s faith daily and be and encouragement to others, which she does not only with her writing but through her business, Wendi’s Works & Writings, where she Happily Offers People Encouragement through puppetry, balloon art, face/hand painting and many other avenues. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Mike, her four-legged child, Miss Boo-Boo and her clucking child Miss Blaze.

The Amish Impact:From City to Farm

When Eli(12) and Elizabeth (11) Hopewell learn that they are leaving their beloved Boston and moving to rural Pennsylvania, they know their lives will never be the same. This new chapter in their story quickly becomes intriguing as they uncover never-before-told secrets from their parents’ upbringing among the “plain” Brethren and Amish communities. A providential reunion with their estranged Amish relatives gives the brother and sister their first opportunity to experience the Amish way of life…the first of many to come in this entertaining series.

A New Season

After returning from their visit to Mammi Esh’s Amish farm, Eli and Elizabeth Hopewell are eager to continue getting to know Grandpa Samuel and Grandma Rebecca Hopewell. As Grandma teaches Elizabeth how to crochet and bake, and Grandpa introduces Eli to his animals and fence painting, the brother and sister each begin to ask questions about faith. Through Grandma and Grandpa’s prayers and gentle guidance, Eli and Elizabeth step fully into this new season—a season of discovering their family story, and relationship with Jesus Christ.

Steve Crabill @ BE-Hive-205 N. Queen Street

Just because Steve Crabill was born and raised in northern Virginia, he wants everyone to know that he never had a silver spoon in his mouth or any other body cavity for that matter! His childhood was shared with four younger siblings and two devoted parents.

After three years in the Army and combat in Viet Nam, Steve started chasing his old dream of becoming a veterinarian. Dean’s list, chemistry major, it went along swimmingly until the money ran out! It was a wild ride folks, and Steve has this way of remembering everything in living color. Almost by accident his story telling passion turned to writing.
About the Book by Steve Crabill

Steve Crabill has always loved a good story, and believes it gives us a commonality and triggers something in our hearts. Steve has been telling stories since he was a kid. He has been writing stories for twelve years and has been published in Thunder Run, a quarterly magazine for his beloved 11th Armored Cavalry Association. As a member of Chesapeake Bay Writers, he recently won first place in their All Star Gala Writing Competition. He enjoys reading his creative non-fiction short stories with this writers group every month.

Wipe That Smile Off Your Face is a series of short stories that provide pictures of life in all its magic, mystery, and brutality. How about stepping in dog doo and having to ride home on the roof of the family car, for instance? Sound familiar? No? Okay then: you’re working in a veterinary hospital as a teenager, and you have to tell a beautiful young woman that her dog is dead! Just all in a day’s work, and weird work, too! On we go, right to edge of insanity in South East Asia. A twenty-two year old tank driver with nine lives. How does one mainstream back into the “flower child” community after this? It ain’t easy! Step right up folks, you are going to be pulled up, down, and sideways through Steve Crabill’s narrative.

Linda Lamneck Medwig @ DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates-130 N. Queen Street

Linda Medwig was in college, majoring in Elementary Education when she was assigned to create a book for young children. The author penned a delightful story about two bunny friends who are kept apart by a big problem. She turned to her mother, an accomplished artist, for the illustrations. Together mother and daughter produced a single book that the professor thought could qualify for publication.

What took so long? “Life!” says the author, “Life got in the way…working, raising a family..taking care of ill parents.” In the case of the author’s mother, it was Alzheimer’s that took her artistic abilities and she passed away in 2012.

The release of THE BIG SNEEZE is a dream realized. Everything about it is original with the exception of the character’s names, which Linda replaced with the names of her grandchildren. The playful and gentle story, illuminated by its beautiful illustrations, evoke the more innocent attitudes of the time in which it was written.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of THE BIG SNEEZE will be donated to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of its illustrator, Caroline Wissinger.

Linda Lamneck Medwig is a retired Preschool and Kindergarten teacher. She makes her home in Mars, PA with her husband, Terry.

Costen Young @ All About Fabric-248 N. Queen Street

IN THE WITCH’S SHADOW By Costen Young

Lady Aeliraneth Ulberath, the most infamous witch of her time, had many names. To Cyrus, she’d only had one: Mother. The fires that had taken her life had long since burned out. Now the only witch Cyrus wanted in his life was B’lantra, the physician’s apprentice he’d grown to love.

Cold memories were all that remained of Mother’s legacy… or so he thought. After ten years, Aeliraneth’s killers have tracked him down. Cyrus and B’lantra will find few allies in a land where witches and their kin are hated and feared.

Who hold the answers they need to stay alive? Celaan, the dark empress who has commanded them to find the ancient artifact Aeliraneth sought before her death? Asa, the sadistic huntress determined to bring them before her unseen master? Or the technologically advanced insurgents who threaten to plunge the nation into chaos?

To save their future, Cyrus and B’lantra must enter the long shadow Aeliraneth has cast— before it covers everything in darkness.

As a precocious five-year-old, Costen helped Luke Skywalker and company take down the Death Star— in his young imagination anyway.  Not long after that, he took a fateful journey with a hobbit, a wizard and thirteen dwarves to separate a dragon from his ill-gotten hoard.

He went on to snare a degree in Communications from Shepherd University, and later returned to add another in accounting.  Over the years, he’s worked as a machinist, an accountant, a news reporter and a little bit of everything in between.

Costen currently lives near Shepherdstown, WV with two loyal (if demanding) cats and as yet unfulfilled plans for world domination.

Tracy Ball @ Peking Restaurant-139 S. Queen Street

My Book is entitled: The Right Way To Be Wrong Tracy’s family is blended from three distinct cultures. Over the years, she has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She has an equal number of liberal and conservative friends. She knows people who have committed murder and she knows people who have dined with the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love.

MORE AUTHORS:

Marie Gretta Parker-Advocate Insurance-111 S. Queen Street

Jeremy Megargee-Crim de la Crim Antiques-137 N. Queen Street


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Berkeley Art Works Photo16 Juried Photography Exhibit Deadline Postponed

Now you have time to do your taxes AND enter our third juried photography exhibit

Extended Deadline: April 22, 2016

We didn’t realize that the deadline for Photo16 was the same as the deadline for filing taxes this year. So we’re doing what the “other guys” won’t do and we’re giving you a few extra days to get your entry together for our third juried photography exhibit.

The Berkeley Arts Council’s “Photo16” juried photography exhibit will be on display June 8-July 9, 2016 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

The exhibit is open nationally to all photographers without restriction to technique. The theme for the exhibit is open.

We’re excited to have as juror for the exhibit Bruce Katsiff, former Director and CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum (1989-2012).

Entries are open now through April 22. Details and online entry instructions visit http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/photo16/

Photo: Photo15 Best in Show, "Stairs to Nowhere" by Michael Pulsifer of Martinsburg, WV
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Berkeley Arts Council Announces Art & Earth Exhibit Award Winners

The Berkeley Arts Council has announce the winning art works in the Sixth Annual Art and Earth Juried Exhibit. The exhibit, which is produced by the Berkeley Arts Council is on display in the Berkeley Art Works gallery at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

The Best in Show award went to Mary Hurst of Lewisburg, West Virginia for her oil painting, “Matrix”. Merit Awards went to Thomas Mitchell of Holden, Missouri for his photograph, “High Water Mark Buckskin Canyon”, and to Dimitrina Kutriansky of Collinsville, Illinois for her oil painting, “By the Pond”.

Four Honorable Mention Awards went to Nathan Taves of Columbia City, Indiana for his oil painting, “Black Curve”, David Pittinger for his photograph, “At Rest”, Linda DeGraf of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for her quilted fabric wall hanging “Heron”, and Gary Bergel off Charles Town, West Virginia for his digital photograph “Dayflower-It Blooms But a Morning”.

The awards were presented by Berkeley Arts Council President Malinda Shaver at the reception in the gallery on Saturday, April 9.

The exhibit is on display in the Berkley Art Works through April 30. Gallery hours are Wed 11-5, Thu 11-5, Fri 11-8, Sat 10-5, and Sun 12-3. Mon-Tue closed.

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.

Photo: Best in Show,"Matrix" by Mary Hurst of Lewisburg, WV
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International Puppetry Company to Perform at Shepherd University

The Performing Arts Series at Shepherd will close its season with a special performance by the internationally-reknowned puppetry company Huge & Ines in their work “Short Stories” on Thursday, April 21 at 8:00 pm at Shepherd University’s Frank Center Theater in Shepherdstown, WV. 

Hugo & Ines have been featured performers at the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, The Kennedy Center, and dozens more.  They also appeared regularly on the PBS children’s series Between the Lions.  Using an imaginative blend of puppetry, dance, mime, and theater, Hugo & Ines create characters using their bodies and a few props that tell poetic stories of the human experience. 

Hugo Suarez was born in Lima, Peru and Ines Pasic is originally from Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Their paths crossed in Italy where Hugo was performing mime as a street performer.  Ines, a trained pianist from Sarajevo Conservatory, began to student with Hugo and quickly discovered that her dexterity on the keyboard translated to puppetry as well. In 1996, they founded Teatro Hugo & Ines. The Los Angeles Times writes, “Hugo and Ines are both superbly in tune with a sense of magical transformation that makes their partnership one of the wonders of the age.”

This engagement of Teatro Hugo & Ines is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.  It is also made possible through an allocation of student activity fees granted by the Shepherd Student Government Association. 

Tickets are available for purchase now at the Shepherd University Bookstore in the lower level of the Student Center by calling 304-876-5219 or at http://www.shepherdbook.com: $15 general admission; $10 Shepherd staff/senior citizens; $5 for kids under 18; and free to Shepherd students with valid Rambler.