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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.


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Harpers Ferry Flip Flop Festival this weekend!

​HARPERS FERRY, W. Va. - Celebrate the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar during the second annual Flip Flop Festival Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17. The event will also recognize “flip flop thru-hikers,” or those who choose to hike the A.T. by beginning their 2,190-mile trek in Harpers Ferry. Anyone is invited to join the fun!

Except for food, all activities are free, unless otherwise noted.

SATURDAY, APRIL 16

Food, music, vendors including outfitters, games, and kids’ activities throughout the day!
(On the property of the historic Odd Fellows Lodge)

Musicians
The Hokums
​Lisa & Friends​
Craggy Island
Old Number 7

Workshops 10:20 - 5:00
Curtis Freewill Baptist Church
10:20 - 11:20 Hiking for beginners (Max “Bearbag” Mishkin)
11:30 - 12:20 Long-distance Hiking on the A.T. (​Jim “Sisu” Fetig)
12:20 - 2:00 Break for lunch; please support our festival vendors at the Odd Fellows Lawn and our local restaurants
​2:00 - 2:50 Health & Safety (Heather “Brave” Sloan)
3:00 - 3:50 Trail Etiquette and Trail Magic (Matthew “Odie” Norman and Heather “Brave” Sloan)
4:00 - 4:50 Bear Mtn. 3-Part Flip-Flop Thru-Hike (Ryan “Castanada” Seltzer)

The Appalachian Trail Museum’s traveling exhibit on hiker culture will be on display in the church.

Backpack “shakedowns”
Will be offered throughout the day to help backpackers learn to reduce their pack weight.

Evening Film Showing: Watch a new documentary “Trail Magic: the Grandma Gatewood Story” presented by filmmaker Peter Huston. (7:00 pm- 8:30 pm). Hosted at The Barn (1/2 block west of the post office). Donation requested.

SUNDAY APRIL 17

7:00 am - 10:00 am
Pancake Breakfast: Hikers and members of the community will get together to enjoy breakfast. Hosted by the Odd Fellows and BSA Troop 421 at the Odd Fellows Lodge.

8:00 am
Thru-Hiker Send-Off: A cohort of Flip-Flop Thru-hikers ​will head north to begin their journey of more than 2,000 miles. You’re invited to send them off when they start, ​with a group photo at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, ​followed by a 1-mile hike to reach The Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers​, where 3 states can be seen.

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
How to Hike the Appalachian Trail: A comprehensive workshop that will cover all aspects of planning a long-distance hike on the A.T., from essential gear to the diversity of the Trail experience. Participants are encouraged to find their own personal approach to hiking the Trail, while also being well-prepared, responsible hikers. Presented by ATC staff member Leanna Joyner.

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Walk Through History: An interpretive ranger from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will lead participants on a 1-mile hike through significant Civil War sites and Storer College, which was built to educate freed slaves after the Civil War. The hike will begin at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters and end in historic downtown Harpers Ferry. Register here.

10:00 am
Appalachian Trail Hike In Maryland:
A 2-mile round trip hike to an outstanding overlook will be lead by Max “BearBag” Mishkin, a recent thru-hiker and former Maryland “ridgerunner.”  ​Driving directions to the nearby trailhead will be provided to registrants. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Register here.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Book Signing: Join Leanna Joyner, author of Hiking through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail. This is your chance to ​have the author to sign this fascinating book that includes information about and maps of not only Civil War sites along the A.T., but sites along The Underground Railroad. A portion of the book is devoted to Harpers Ferry area. (Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters)

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Billy Bison: Makes a specal guest appearance!

2:00 pm
Appalachian Trail Hike In Maryland: A 2-mile round trip hike to an outstanding overlook will be lead by Max “BearBag” Mishkin, a recent thru-hiker and former Maryland “ridgerunner.”  ​Driving directions to the nearby trailhead will be provided to registrants. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Register here.


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23rd Annual Uniquely West Virginia: Ramps Star At Berkeley Springs Wine And Food Festival

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV – Tasting vintages from state wineries may give the event its name but this year ramps are the starring product both raw and prepared. The one-day tastebud-stimulator event is scheduled for 10am to 4pm on Saturday, April 16 at the Ice House in downtown Berkeley Springs.  The show offers a free opportunity for the public to sample and buy dozens of state-grown products as well as meet the faces behind these products.

Glascock’s Orchards plans on having bushels of aromatic West Virginia ramps on hand.  Chef Scott from the Country Inn returns doing cooking/tasting demonstrations at 11, noon and 1pm so visitors can get a notion of what to do with those ramps. Chef Scott’s menu includes ramp pesto, pickled ramps with pork, ramp jam and a ramp surprise at the noon demo.  There are also ramp dishes on the weekend menus at Lot 12 and Tari’s Café for folks who want more.

Five West Virginia wineries are making an appearance, each with a special spin on the ancient art of winemaking.  Vintages for tasting range from true Italian concord to light white Riesling.  “The winemakers all have a story to tell as you sample their wines,” said Laura Smith, Administrator of Travel Berkeley Springs which produces the event.   Smith considers the chance to taste and buy rare state wines as the major draw for regulars.  “People buy their favorites by the case.”

Other food producers offer honey, confections, barbeque and a variety of dips and sauces.

Saturday’s festival also features a book signing that is the debut of a new book by Jeanne Mozier.  The Story of Berkeley Castle – What’s True and What’s Not is filled with contemporary and historic photos as well as well-researched information about the most notable structure in the area.  Also figuring in what might be called Uniquely Berkeley Springs is Jensuya’s two-hour Shimmy, Shake and Twist Belly Dance Workshop from noon to 2pm at the Ice House. 

Saturday at 7pm, Highlawn Inn stages its annual dinner with winemaster Wilson Ward of Fishers Ridge. All weekend long entertainment is at the Star Theatre at 8pm with its world class popcorn for more tasting.  The movie is Miracles From Heaven starring a uniquely West Virginia movie star, Jennifer Garner. 

Shopping along the historic streets is always festival mode.  Stop by Berkeley Springs Memories for all your branded West Virginia and Berkeley Springs wearable’s as well as a Sunday booksigning of the new Berkeley Castle book from 10am to 2pm.  Jules Enchanting Gifts and Collectibles introduces the Irish Fairy Door Company and 10% off fairy items to go with the door. At the Ice House, see samples of the Yard Square Quilts in the gallery as well as the work of more than 30 area artists.  On Sunday, the Farmers Market in the square from 10am to 2pm continues the opportunity for exceptional local produce. 

The Ice House, site of the weekend’s events is located on Independence and Mercer just a block from the famed warm springs in the heart of town.  Travel Berkeley Springs produces Uniquely West Virginia.  Support for Uniquely West Virginia comes from the Division of Culture and History Fairs and Festivals program. For a free Celebration Guide with all the details on both festival vendors and related activities throughout the county call 800-447-8797 or check online at http://www.berkeleysprings.com.


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Family Geocaching Workshop at Local Children’s Museum

Work with museum staff and learn the basics behind the exciting new sport called geocaching. Call to reserve your spot!

What is geocaching? Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,782,221 active geocaches and over 15 million geocachers worldwide. Want to learn more? Check out Geocaching 101 and then come to our workshop!

Location: For the Kids, by George Children’s Museum, Capterton Station, 229 East Martin St, Martinsburg, WV

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/6W17ar
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Opportunity to Volunteer to Celebrate History of Battle of Smithfield Crossing

The Middleway Conservancy’s History Committee, ably led by Bill Chappell, is preparing to commemorate the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Smithfield Crossing with a large re-enactment on August 13-14 this year.  (By large, think 100 plus infantry, 50 or so cavalry, and cannons… ).  The 1864 battle included a cavalry fight from Leetown to Middleway and across the Opequon on the first day, and then an infantry/cavalry engagement from west of the Opequon through Middleway to Child’s Crossroads on the second day.  For details go to http://www.MiddlewayConservancy.org.   

Are YOU interested in the formation of a Friends of the Battle of Smithfield Crossing group?  The broad purposes would be to engage in historical research, gather and exchange local histories and information, and promote the conservation of the battle field area.  Many citizens in Middleway have battlefield artifacts they have discovered in their fields, yards and buildings, and it would be excellent if we could share the information about these items and where they were found.

If you are interested in such a group, please contact either Bill Chappell at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Peter Fricke at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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The Lawsuit Abuse ‘Dirty Dozen’: Legislative Candidates Funded By Personal Injury Lawyers

Press release received from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA)

Charleston, W.Va. – Which state legislative candidates this year are running for office based on campaign contributions from the personal injury lawsuit industry?

Today, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) announced the list of legislative candidates who have accepted the most lawsuit industry money, based on Primary First contribution reports filed with the Secretary of State.

“Some millionaire personal injury lawyers are spending thousands of dollars to elect candidates who support their ‘sue and settle’ agenda, who want to see more laws allowing them to flood our legal system with lawsuits. These lawyers also want to repeal the much-needed lawsuit reforms recently passed by the legislature. West Virginia is not for sale; and West Virginia voters deserve to know which candidates are being funded by the greed of these personal injury lawyers,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

Ranked number one on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list is Chad Lovejoy, a Huntington personal injury lawyer who is running in House District 17. Nearly half of his contributions, over $14,000, came from personal injury lawyer interests.

Several other personal injury lawyers ranked high on the list. Stephen Skinner (Senate District 16), a personal injury lawyer and member of the House of Delegates, accepted over $14,000 in personal injury lawyer contributions. Personal injury lawyer and incumbent Delegate Andrew Byrd (House District 35) accepted nearly $11,000 from the personal injury lawsuit industry. Brian Prim, a personal injury lawyer from Putnam County (Senate District 4), accepted over $8,500 from the personal injury lawsuit industry.

A majority of the list is made up of incumbents, including: Senator Chris Walters (Senate District 8, $9,000), Senator Jack Yost (Senate District 1, $4,000), Senator Cory Palumbo (Senate District 17, $4,000), House Minority Leader Tim Miley (House District 48, $3,000) and Delegate Shawn Fluharty (House District 3, $3,000).

Several non-incumbent legislative candidates made the list, including Lisa Zukoff (Senate District 2, $11,000), who raised nearly seventy percent of her contributions from the personal injury lawsuit industry. Newcomer candidates Andrew Robinson (House District 36, $10,000) and personal injury lawyer Rocky Seay (Senate District 6, $3,250) also were backed by the personal injury lawsuit industry.

WV CALA’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ candidates have taken money from personal injury lawyers who have used our out-of-step legal system and lawsuit greed for personal profit.

Members and associates of several personal injury law firms contributed heavily to candidates on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, including Bordas & Bordas ($33,000), the Skinner Law Firm ($11,250), the Scott Segal Law Firm ($6,500), Tiano & O’Dell ($5,000), and the personal injury lawyer association’s political action committee ($9,000).

“A greedy few have been profiting from West Virginia’s ‘jackpot justice’ legal system, while most of us have ended up paying higher prices for goods, losing access to important medical and community services and missing out on good job opportunities. Having a Legislature that will fight lawsuit abuse is a must because employers create jobs in states where the legal system is fair,” concluded Stauffer.

The list was compiled based on WV CALA’s review of recent state campaign finance records for the 2016 Primary First Reporting Period.


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Morgantown Attorney Eddie Wagoner Announces as Libertarian for House of Delegates

Eddie Wagoner of Monongalia County is the latest Libertarian to throw his hat into the ring for elective office this year. Wagoner, a Morgantown attorney, has announced his candidacy for House of Delegates in the 51st District, a sprawling five-member district comprised of most of Monongalia County.

“With even just one Libertarian in the state legislature,” says Wagoner, “we could chart a new path in Charleston, away from debilitating partisanship and forward to economic growth founded on individual empowerment, rather than ‘top down’ government by well-connected insiders.” “The solution to West Virginia’s economic malaise is not higher taxes, more government spending, or so-called ‘public/private’ cabals that try to engineer growth by moving pieces on a chess-board,” he explained. “Rather, our path forward is to unleash the dynamism of the free market.”

Wagoner is the second Libertarian candidate hailing from Monongalia County. County resident Buddy Guthrie of Morgantown is running for the statewide office of Commissioner of Agriculture, along with David D. Moran of Preston County for Governor, Karl Kolenich of Upshur County for Attorney General, John Buckley of Hardy County for Secretary of State, and Brent West of Wood County for Treasurer. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

A 2007 graduate of Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University and Columbia University in 2003, Wagoner is married with two children (and two dogs). “The biggest problem in West Virginia is too much government that stifles individual initiative and personal responsibility and misdirects citizens to seek from Charleston the leftovers of a diminishing economic pie,” he elaborated. “I think we can do better for our families and for each other voluntarily be weaning ourselves off government dependence.” He began his legal career with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, in Morgantown. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the NRA, enjoys outdoor athletics, and enthusiastically supports West Virginia’s craft beer industry.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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Congressman Evan Jenkins Endorses Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Charleston, W.Va. – At a reception last evening in Huntington, WV, U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins offered his endorsement of Beth Walker for Supreme Court.

“In 2008 Beth Walker spoke of her vision of a nonpartisan and nonpolitical judiciary. She was told time and time again it would never happen. Eight years later Beth has taken up the torch again, this time in the first nonparsitian judicial election in West Virginia history. This is exactly the unwavering attitude we need in West Virginia. We can no longer accept, that’s how it’s always been as that’s how it must always be. Beth Walker’s vision of a fair court, her belief in the rule of law and, and her commitment to the Constitution are the future of the West Virginia Judiciary. We must bring to a close the era of West Virginia’s liberal activist judges. This begins next month with the election of Beth Walker to our Supreme Court,” said Congressman Jenkins.

“It is an honor to have the backing of Congressman Evan Jenkins in this race. As a Congressman, Evan Jenkins has swiftly made his mark, standing up to the Washington Bureaucracy. Congressman Jenkins did not just go to Washington, he stormed it, bearing the rigor and frustration of not only his district, but of all West Virginians,” said Beth Walker. “His enthusiastic support of my campaign is a clear indication of the broad support my candidacy will have across West Virginia among a broad coalition of voters.”

This is the first time in West Virginia that judges will be elected on a non-partisan ballot. There are five candidates vying for one seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The voters who go to the polls in the upcoming May 10, 2016, Primary will decide the next Justice.


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Upcoming Candidate Forums

The League of Women Voters offers two opportunities to get to know the candidates for the May 10 election.

On April 12, a Tuesday, at 7 PM at the Bolivar Community Center auditorium (60 Panama St., Harpers Ferry).
7:00-8:00 pm - Board of Education candidates
8:00-9:00 pm - Magistrate Court judge candidates

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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Celebrate the Appalachian Trail during the second annual Flip Flop Festival - April 16 & 17

HARPERS FERRY, W. Va. - Celebrate the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar during the second annual Flip Flop Festival Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17. The event will also recognize “flip flop thru-hikers,” or those who choose to hike the A.T. by beginning their 2,190-mile trek in Harpers Ferry. Anyone is invited to join the fun! A complete schedule of events is available at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.

“The Flip Flop Festival is a celebration of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar as a scenic and historic destination for day trippers, day hikers, section hikers and tourists from around the world,” said Laurie Potteiger, information services manager for the ATC. “We’re also excited to promote flip flop thru-hiking, or an alternative way to hike the Appalachian Trail. More and more thru-hikers have found there are advantages to starting or ending somewhere in the middle, with Harpers Ferry an ideal location.”

Beginning at 10 a.m. on April 16, participants will have the opportunity to interact with hikers during workshops that cover a variety of topics, including hiking for beginners, Trail magic and etiquette, and lessons learned while on the A.T. Food will be available for purchase, live music will be performed by local musicians, activities for kids will be available, and vendors will be on hand throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to stay for a special presentation of the film “Trail Magic” at 7 p.m., which tells the story of thru-hiking pioneer Grandma Gatewood.

On April 17, join the ATC and the surrounding community for a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. before an official flip flop thru-hiker send off at 8 a.m. Following the breakfast and hiker send off, the public is invited to attend ATC employee Leanna Joyner’s comprehensive workshop from 10 a.m. to noon covering all aspects of planning a long-distance hike on the A.T. Later in the day, she’ll be at the ATC Visitor Center from 1 to 3 p.m. to sign copies of her book “Hiking Through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail,” which includes information about and maps of not only Civil War sites along the A.T., but sites along the Underground Railroad. Two guided hikes will also be offered throughout the day, including a hike that explores significant Civil War sites and Storer College, which was built to educate freed slaves after the Civil War. Specific details about these hikes, and sign up information, is available at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.

Flip Flop Festival weekend overview:
Date/Time: Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 17, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 799 Washington St., Harpers Ferry, WV

For more information about the Flip Flop Festival, including a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.


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Circa Blue Fest 2016 to be held May 6 - 8 in Martinsburg

Circa Blue Fest is a three-day bluegrass festival featuring some of the most prominent artists in bluegrass today. This year’s line-up includes: Blue Highway, Trinity River Band, Jim Hurst, Circa Blue, Lonesome Highway among other talent.

A family-friendly event, kids can participate in activities like a “selfie” booth and marshmallow roasting. Award-winning BBQ, instrument & songwriting workshops and camping sites will be available during performances.

Begins Friday May 6 and goes through Sunday May 8 (Friday event starts at 6pm & ends at 8pm, Saturday event is 11am-8pm, and Sunday event is 11:45am-1:30pm).

Located at Moose Acres 1063 Douglas Grove Road, Martinsburg West Virginia 25401

Ticket prices are $25 for daily tickets, $35 for a weekend pass and $50 for camping.  Updates and information can be found at CircaBlueFest.com, Facebook, Twitter or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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West Virginia Medical Political Action Committee Endorses Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Press release received from Walker campaign

Charleston, W.Va. – WESPAC, the political action committee of The West Virginia State Medical Association (WVSMA), has announced the endorsement of Beth Walker for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, citing her extensive experience as a lawyer and her independent judicial philosophy.

“After considerable discussion, WESPAC is pleased to announce our endorsement of Beth Walker for Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. We believe that Beth is the conservative candidate that West Virginians so desperately need on the bench. No one should have to fear being blindsided by an activist judge.  Beth Walker’s unwavering commitment to a fair court is one our members are ready to stand behind,” said WVSMA Executive Director Brian Foy.

Overseeing 30 component societies, with more than 1,500 members consisting of allopathic and osteopathic physicians in every range of specialty, as well as medical students, the WVSMA represents the largest number of physicians in the state. The WVSMA is a professional association focused primarily on physician and patient advocacy, public health issues, providing high quality continuing medical education, and it seeks to promote the time-honored commitment of the medical profession while improving the quality of life for West Virginians. In an effort to better serve the citizens of each county in West Virginia, WVSMA strives to provide the physicians and volunteer leaders of every component society with the most current medical information available.
WESPAC’s goal is to organize the physician community into a powerful voice for quality healthcare in West Virginia. It seeks to preserve the vital relationship between physicians and patients by educating legislators about issues important facing the medical profession.

“Walker has proven herself to be the clear choice for the West Virginia medical community. Adherence to the rule of law is not something that should rouse excitement,” Said Joe Prud’homme, MD, Chair of WESPAC, “but when West Virginians step into a courtroom it is an uncertainty they all too frequently have to deal with. Beth Walker will bring much needed stability to West Virginia’s courts.

“I am honored that the WESPAC has joined medical organizations like The West Virginia Hospital Association PAC and The West Virginia Healthcare PAC to endorse my candidacy for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals.  We are working hard to earn the support of organizations throughout West Virginia who 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 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).

“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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Swine, Wine & Roses Festival Debuts At The Conococheague Institute May 21-22

Mercersburg, PA – On, Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22 the Conococheague Institute will host its first ever Swine, Wine & Roses Festival. The festival will be open on May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on May 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00p.m.

The Conococheague Institute possesses an incredible collection of antique roses, which were the focus of previous Rose Walk days. In an effort to show off the historic farmstead the Rose Walk has been expanded. Festival goers can enjoy award-winning BBQ, local wine and craft beer, music, and the hundreds of heirloom rose bushes during their day at this 30-acre historic farmstead. Living historians depicting 18th and 19th century will be on site and in the historic structures.

“The Swine, Wine & Roses Festival will present an opportunity for many more people to discover this hidden gem of a place,” said general manager Clifford Smith. “The site is well known to reenactors and history buffs because of our living history programs, lectures and our 8,000 volume library filled with local history and genealogy, but there is something here for everyone to appreciate.”

C.I. has partnered with an array of esteemed vendors to provide the highest quality food and drink. Hempen Hill BBQ, an award winning competition style barbecue restaurant based in Hagerstown, Maryland, will be serving multiple types of barbecued meats and side dishes. Roy Pitz from Chambersburg will be providing four different craft beers. Rounding out the vendors will be three local wineries: Tuscarora Mountain Winery, Jan Zell Wines, and Buddy Boy Winery and Vineyard, who all produce a wide variety of wines and ciders.

Live entertainment will include two troops of reenactors, the Conococheague Rangers representing the colonial and Revolutionary Period and the W.S. Hancock Society from the 19th century. The W.S. Hancock Society reenactors include a tavern keeper, a tobacconist, and a fur trapper among others. They will also offer hearth cooking demonstrations. Rounding out the live entertainment will be an assortment of bluegrass and Americana musical groups.

“With a little cooperation from Mother Nature the antique roses around the site should be blooming in all their glory,” said development and communications coordinator Rachel Nichols, “C.I. is a magical place. Once you’ve come here, you can’t resist the pull to visit again and again,”

Swine, Wine & Roses Festival is being held May 21, 10am-5pm; May 22, noon-4pm. $5 per person entry fee. 12995 Bain Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236.www.cimlg.org, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)., 717-328-3467.


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ResourceU Small Business Training in Berkeley Springs 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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Libertarian Party of West Virginia Announces Full Slate for Statewide Offices

Harpers Ferry, WV - Brenton (“Brent”) Ricketts of Harpers Ferry today announced his candidacy for State Auditor on the ticket of the Libertarian Party of West Virginia. “The foremost obligation of any public servant, and the fundamental job of State Auditor, is to ensure that the public’s hard-earned tax dollars are spent efficiently and honestly. Revenue must be collected according to law, subject to the disinfecting scrutiny of public oversight,” said Ricketts. “If you want a neutral, fiscally responsible conservative overseer of the public finances, you can’t do any better than a tight-fisted Libertarian,” he added.

“I’ve evolved over the years from a political observer to a Ron Paul libertarian-Republican to Tea Party member to registered Libertarian,” said Ricketts. “As Auditor, I will apply my libertarian philosophy as a relentless watchdog over the public’s money,” he promised. “I’ll work hand-in-hand with our new Libertarian Governor, David Moran, our new Libertarian Treasurer, Brent West, and our new Libertarian Attorney General, Karl Kolenich, to root out waste, inefficiency, and corruption.”

Ricketts becomes the sixth Libertarian to announce for statewide office this year, joining Moran of Preston County for Governor, Kolenich of Upshur County for Attorney General, John Buckley of Hardy County for Secretary of State, West of Wood County for Treasurer, and Buddy Guthrie of Monongalia County for Commissioner of Agriculture. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

A resident of Jefferson County on the Eastern Panhandle, Ricketts was a small business owner in Charles Town. With a degree in technical sciences, he’s had over 20 years’ experience in project management, ranging from Architectural design, sales and operations management for a motorsports business, estimating and account management in such varied fields as architectural millwork, metal design and fabrication, to residential and commercial construction. Married, with three children and 2 grandchildren, Ricketts has side interests in restoring automobiles, DIY home projects, his middle school son’s wide-ranging academic and athletic activities, and his daughter’s considerable community theatre participation.

“I’ve always been a ‘natural’ libertarian,” Ricketts explained. “Let other people do their own thing, let me do mine, and as long as we respect that, we can all get along just fine.” “As a political Libertarian,” he added, “I believe the United States in general and West Virginia in particular would be better off if the government were smaller and our tax burden much lower.”

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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“The History and Preservation of Happy Retreat”, A Symposium, April 8 and 9, 2016

Phi Alpha Theta, Shepherd University’s History Honors Society, in conjunction with the Friends of Happy Retreat and the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, will present a symposium April 8-9 in Charles Town, WV. The symposium, “The History and Preservation of Happy Retreat,” is free and open to the public.

The session on Friday, April 8, beginning at 7:00 PM at Fisherman’s Hall, 312 South West Street, includes a keynote address, “George Washington’s Canvas Home: The History and Memory of the Revolutionary War Headquarters and Sleeping Marquee.” The keynote speaker will be Philip Mead, historian and curator at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Friday will also feature a silent auction fundraiser.

Saturday, April 9 will involve two panel discussions with noted historians and preservation experts. The first session, from 9:00-11:00 AM, will focus on “The History of Happy Retreat.” The second session, from 2:00-4:00 PM, is entitled “The Preservation of Happy Retreat.” Both sessions will be held at Happy Retreat, the home of George Washington’s brother, Charles, at 300 Mordington Avenue in Charles Town.

To participate, reservations are appreciated, but not necessary. For more information, please visit http://www.shepherdphialphatheta.weebly.com.

Photo: Happy Retreat, Charles Town, West Virginia
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West Virginia Coal Association Endorses Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Coal Association has announced the endorsement of Beth Walker for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, citing her extensive experience as a lawyer and her independent judicial philosophy.

“Beth Walker’s commitment to a nonpolitical judiciary is tremendously important to the West Virginia Coal Association.  Liberal activist judge bent on carrying out agendas handed down from likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are harmful to West Virginians. We are very pleased to Endorse Beth Walker for the Justice of the Supreme Court. We are happy to be able to support a candidate with her extensive legal background and experience in labor and employment law. Beth Walker is a friend of our shared West Virginia Values and true Friend of Coal,” said Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association Senior Vice President.

The West Virginia Coal Association is a trade association representing more than 90 percent of the state’s underground and surface coal mine production. Its purpose is to have a unified voice representing the state’s coal industry as well as increase emphasis on coal as a reliable energy source to help the nation achieve energy independence.

“I am honored that the West Virginia Coal Association has endorsed my candidacy for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals.  We are working hard to earn the support of organizations throughout West Virginia who 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 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).

“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 Museum Season Opening Features Shepherdstown Red Sox

At its April 2 season opening, the Historic Shepherdstown Museum will unveil a new exhibit featuring the history of Shepherdstown’s African American baseball team, the Red Sox, and the related gospel choirs, the Troubadours and the Sons of Harmony. The Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the public is particularly invited to join in celebrating the 2016 season and the new exhibit at an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. that day.

The Shepherdstown Red Sox played baseball in Shepherdstown and the surrounding area on and off from the 1930’s into the 1980’s. In the early days, many team members sang with a gospel choir called the Troubadours. Later they sang with the Brothers of Harmony. Generous members of the local community have provided oral histories telling the stories of the team and of the choirs and of the 20th century African American community in Shepherdstown. They have also loaned the Museum artifacts that will be on display. Shepherd University’s Dr. Keith Alexander conducted the oral histories with support from the University’s Lisa and Paul Welch Fund.

Beginning on April 2, the Museum will be open for visitors through October, as well as during Christmas in Shepherdstown. Public hours are Saturdays from 11 a.m.
to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The Museum is located at 129 East German Street, at the corner of German and Princess Streets in Shepherdstown. 

In addition to the new exhibit, the Shepherdstown Museum tells the story of the town, starting with local prehistoric tools, going through the settling of the area by Europeans, the Revolution, the Civil War, and into the 20th century. Among many other artifacts, the Museum features the crafts of the prosperous and talented makers of clocks, guns, furniture, pots, kettles and more.

For additional information or to schedule a tour or visit outside of normal hours, call or e-mail Historic Shepherdstown’s Administrator at (304) 876-0910 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays.


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Washington County Arts Council, Inc. Announces April 2016 Exhibits

The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. is pleased to present Robert & Kitty Nalewaik:  “View of Two Hemispheres” and Beth Carey:  “Rêves/Dreams” for its April 2016 Exhibits.”  The art exhibits will run from March 31, 2016 through April 26, 2016 with an opening reception on Thursday, March 31, 2016 from 5 pm to 7 pm

Robert & Kitty Nalewaik: “View of Two Hemispheres”

Robert Nalewaik began his photographic journey in the early 1960’s while in Graduate School at the Univ. of Connecticut at Storrs. His first camera was a Miranda 35mm SLR and his first subjects included countryside, farm, flower, and animal scenes. This interest in photography began to take up more and more time, but he did acquire his MS in Microbiology.

Upon graduation, he received a Reserve Commission in the U.S. Navy as a Medical Service Corps Officer. After three years active duty, he served 27 years in the Selected Reserve, retiring as a Captain. It was during these years he was able to travel to the Mediterranean area and the British Isles. These travels served to expand his photographic horizons to new vistas as he was always interested in history and archeology.

Upon release from active duty Robert worked for the Department of the Navy and then the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD, retiring after almost 40 years. He is now devoting his photographic time presenting his view of the world for your enjoyment. His eye is drawn to the beauty of the medieval, the mountains, of out-of-the way villages, ruins and castles -from the Costa del Sol to the Alps to the Rockies; from Stonehenge to Knossos to Machu Picchu. In addition, Robert has photographed various portions of the United States. He has digitized past slides, and currently utilizes the digital format. His photographs are minimally, if at all, manipulated.

He and his wife Kitty travel each year to Europe with cameras in hand looking for that special photo. They also have a small art business called “gallery in the woods”, near Knoxville, MD. Home Shows are held two weekends in a row throughout the year, and by appointment.

Beth Carey: “Rêves/Dreams”

As early as I can remember I have been interested in nature and art. I have always been fascinated with art history and learned about European art through books and antique treasures. Jewelry tells a story and history of the people who wear the creations.

My interest in creating metalwork developed in the 1960’s while in high school. I graduated from St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s City, MD, with an art education major with a focus on three-dimensional artwork and metalwork.  After graduating in 1974, I taught art in Frederick County, MD, both in private and public school systems. In 1978 I worked for several retail jewelers as a bench worker until 1988. From 1988-1998, I was a resident jeweler and co-owner of an art gallery in Frederick.MD. Since 1999 I have been teaching jewelry classes at DVAC (Delaplaine Visual Arts Center) in Frederick, MD, and HCC (Hagerstown Community College) in Hagerstown, MD. I continue to create custom work and my line of jewelry.  My work is on display in gift galleries at DVAC, WCAC, Gifts Inn Boonsboro, and Arts Alliance of Waynesboro, PA.

My work shows nature through jewelry. I use techniques to create texture, color, and form in nature motif jewelry.  I fabricate all my work from sheet and wire stock of sterling silver, fine silver and 14k yellow gold, with some of my cast work included. I carve from wax first, have the wax burned out of the mold made and inject molten metal to create an image. Colored stones are added to enhance the design. I use traditional jewelry making techniques: soldering with a propane/oxygen torch, cutting with a hand saw, forming with hammers, and sometimes using a hydraulic press, etching, weaving metal, texturing metal with a rolling mill, and texturing with a torch and fusing metals, just to name a few used in my work.  All my work is hand polished to finish.



The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. gallery is located at 34 South Potomac Street, just off Artist Alley in Hagerstown’s Art and Entertainment District.

For questions please contact Gallery Manager, Chris Brewer at 301-791-3132 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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Post-Easter Events Schedule for Asbury UMC

Asbury UMC Post-Easter Bible Study
Asbury UMC in Charles Town will hold a 6 week Bible Study beginning April 3rd at 5 PM titled “Ancient Roads: From Christ to Constantine.” This compelling six week study will take participants on an exciting and visually stunning journey to the beautiful and important historical places where Christianity was born and grew from a small movement called “The Way” to its place as the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC Welcomes Back Gospel Legends - The Jacobs Brothers
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV is excited to host The Jacobs Brothers at a special Gospel Concert on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 6 p.m.  The Jacobs Brothers are international veterans of gospel music who have traveled millions of miles and produced more than 50 albums.  They will be joined onstage by local gospel favorites – The Men In Black Gospel Singers.  This concert is open to the public and admission is free.  There will be a free will offering to help the singers offset their expenses. Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC Weekly Communion, Prayer and Meditation Service
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our community to join us for our weekly Communion, Prayer and Meditation Service each Wednesday through Pentecost (May 15) from Noon-1pm in Moler Chapel.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC To Hold Pentecost Unity Service
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our entire community to join us as we celebrate the Church’s birthday on Sunday; May 15th with a special Pentecost Unity Service.  This single service at 10 AM will feature special music, readings, a dynamic sermon and much, much more.  Everyone is then invited to join in for a time of fellowship following the 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.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC To Hold Church Yard Sale    
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV will hold its annual church wide yard sale on Friday June 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.orgfor more information and to reserve your space.

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, 2016.  We have planned an exciting event 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 their involvement in the life of the Jefferson County community. We will have activities for kids, displays of the church’s historical artifacts and a tour of the Asbury facilities. We will also conduct lectures on Methodism’s first American 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 304-725-5513or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.


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U.S. Cellular Launches 2nd Annual “Community Connections” Program

Panhandle Youth Groups are Encouraged to Apply

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  – U.S. Cellular announced today that it is continuing its “Community Connections” program for the second consecutive year to support local youth organizations. Last year, the company sponsored more than 700 school groups and youth sports teams through a partnership with Pear, an online platform that connects local brands with local community needs. Beginning today, academic and athletic groups (K-12) in West Virginia can sign up at http://www.pearup.com/uscellular to receive sponsorship from the company to go towards the needs of their group.

“As a neighbor and dedicated member of the West Virginia community, U.S. Cellular is committed to supporting programs and organizations that have a positive impact in the lives of our youth,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in the Mid-South. “These organizations provide valuable learning experiences, and this program provides an easy and fun way for the community to rally together to support them.”

Through the “Community Connections” program, U.S. Cellular sponsors hundreds of local youth groups, school programs and sports teams, such as little leagues, youth soccer clubs, school dance teams and bands. Once an interested group signs up at the website, they have ten days to generate support from neighbors, friends, family and their community to earn points by completing simple tasks such as visiting U.S. Cellular’s website, following U.S. Cellular on its social channels or answering a short survey. Points are then converted into dollars that go directly to the organization or group, and each group can earn up to $1,000 that can be used towards uniforms, equipment or other program needs.

Last year, U.S. Cellular provided $295,000 to youth organizations and school groups through this program, and this year the company will provide up to $300,000. In addition, in 2015 the company contributed $1.35 million to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focused education programs through its partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National 4-H Council.

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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More Tax Filers Turn To Mobile This Tax Season

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (March 29, 2016) — From stacks of paperwork to complicated forms, tax preparation offers little to get excited about. Fortunately, modern tax filers can take advantage of smartphones and today’s top-rated apps to make the process faster and easier, as well as more secure. In fact, according to the IRS, nearly 126 million taxpayers e-filed their taxes in 2015.

Early-filers and procrastinators alike are catching onto newer ways to handle their financial matters, including their taxes. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey¹, 59 percent of smartphone users have used their phone to manage their finances, up from 47 percent in 2014.

“April is right around the corner, and more people than ever are turning to smartphones and tablets to file their taxes,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular’s the Mid-Atlantic, “With today’s mobile devices, top-rated apps and a nationwide network that works when and where you need it, taxpayers can file their taxes safely and quickly.”

To stay on top of deductions, estimate payments and monitor filings, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tools for mobile device users:

TurboTax: The free TurboTax mobile app helps users get their taxes done right anytime, anywhere. Filers take a picture of their W-2, answer a few simple questions and e-file securely, whether at home or at the local coffee shop. New features to the app this year include touch ID and pin, live on-screen video help with SmartLook and ExplainWhy™, a feature that explains the “whys” behind users tax refund.

IRS2Go: The official mobile app of the Internal Revenue Service allows users to check their refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, and sign up for helpful tax tips.

MyBlock: Backed by the tax professionals at H&R Block, this app helps users quickly estimate their tax refund, update documents to send to their tax professional, access their previous tax returns, check the status of their federal refund and more.

TaxACT Express: By answering a few simple questions, users can prepare and e-file their federal and state tax returns for free with the TaxACT Express app. Mobile device users can receive notifications when the IRS and state have processed their returns, track the status of their refund and file extensions.

Expensify: Now filers can stay ahead of the game for next year’s tax season by downloading the Expensify app today. This app allows users to keep track of their receipts, time or mileage, and business travel. It also creates expense reports quickly and easily. Expensify will let users import their credit card transactions and automatically creates an IRS guaranteed eReceipt for all purchases under $75.

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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The South Jefferson Library will host a seminar focusing on Genealogy and DNA Testing

The South Jefferson Library will host a seminar focusing on Genealogy and DNA testing on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm.

A genealogical DNA test looks at a person’s genome at specific locations. Results give information about genealogy or personal ancestry. In general, these tests compare the results of an individual to others from the same lineage or to current and historic ethnic groups. The major component of an autosomal DNA test is matching other individuals.  If two individuals share more than a certain threshold of DNA, they are considered a match by the testing company. Based on the amount of shared DNA, their relationship may be predicted. Due to the random nature of DNA inheritance, the exact relationship cannot be exactly predicted. Several different types of tests are now available.

Mr. Keith Hammersla of Martinsburg Library will provide information about the most common tests. As well as the information on Genealogical DNA testing, the public is welcome to come and ask questions about other genealogy topics they are interested in. 

You may call South Jefferson Library with any questions at 304-725-6227 or visit our website - http://www.sojeffersonlibrary.com or Facebook page.  South Jefferson Library is located on the corner of Summit Point Road and Church Street in Summit Point, WV. Hours are M-Th 10-7; Sat. 10-5;  and Sunday 1-5, closed Fridays.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/4JAj3z
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Zane Lawhorn to Run for U.S. House on Libertarian Party Ticket

Princeton, WV - The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) is pleased to announce that Princeton Optometrist Zane Lawhorn has declared his candidacy for United States House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District. “The lack of jobs is the single biggest problem facing southern West Virginia,” declared Dr. Lawhorn. “The War on Coal in particular and loss of personal rights and liberties in general are devastating West Virginia,” he explained. “As a non-career politician, I intend to go to Washington and confront our out-of-control Federal Government head-on. You won’t get ‘business as usual’ with Congressman Zane Lawhorn,” he promised.

A West Virginia native, Lawhorn is one among thousands of citizens who have grown disgusted with the failures of the two major political parties. He is a relatively new member of the Libertarian Party and has been attracted by the Libertarians’ unique appeal on issues ranging from the economy and over-taxation to its emphasis on privacy and protection from government snooping. “The people deserve their rights protected and the opportunity to live their lives without government interference,” says Lawhorn.

With Libertarian candidates having declared their candidacies for all six of the statewide races in West Virginia this year, led by its candidate for Governor, David Moran of Preston County, Lawhorn, of Mercer County, becomes the first Libertarian to announce for U.S. Congress.  The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

Dr. Lawhorn has been a practicing Optometrist in Mercer County for 30 years and has developed a practice in the Beckley-Mt. Hope area as well. He graduated from Union High School in Monroe County in 1976 and West Virginia University in 1980. During optometry college, he served as Student Government President and was selected to membership in Gold Key International, one of the highest awards a student might obtain. He has also been an officer in Student Volunteer Service to Humanity, a philanthropic organization that provides free eye care to underdeveloped countries. Dr. Lawhorn and his wife live in Princeton and have two grown children, Mitchell, a graduate student and football coach, and Megan, currently attending Cosmetology School. The Lawhorns attend Princeton Presbyterian Church, where he serves as an elder on the Session. He has previously served his community as vice-chairman of the Princeton Building Commission. In 2006, Lawhorn was a candidate for United States Senate and, in the 2008 presidential election, was a member of the Electoral College for West Virginia.

“I will focus like a laser on job creation through our free enterprise system,” Dr. Lawhorn pledges. “I won’t take a penny of salary until at least 1,000 net new jobs are created in the 3rd District and I’ll set up a citizens’ committee, which anyone can join, to monitor my progress on the jobs front,” he vows. “I’ll fight for jobs, jobs, jobs, and appreciation for the hard work of coal miners who have kept the lights on in America.”

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forums

The League of Women Voters offers two opportunities to get to know the candidates for the May 10 election.

On April 12, a Tuesday, at 7 PM at the Bolivar Community Center auditorium (60 Panama St., Harpers Ferry).
7:00-8:00 pm - Board of Education candidates
8:00-9:00 pm - Magistrate Court judge candidates

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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“Art and Earth” Exhibit to Welcome Reception Visitors with a Discount

Helping visitors to hold on to some “Green”, the Berkeley Arts Council will honor guests at a reception on April 9 from four to six p.m. with a 15% discount on all purchases of artwork. The reception marks the sixth annual presentation of art work created by artists and artisans from West Virginia and other states on the theme of “My Art - My World”. Admission to the reception is free.

Also during the reception, BAC will present awards to several participants, and juror Doug Kinnett will offer thoughts on his experience working with other artists in a mutual critique group. The presentation is planned for 5:00 p.m.

The Art and Earth exhibit is on display from March 30 through April 30 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery, located at 116 North Queen Street in downtown Martinsburg. Regular hours are Wed./Thurs. from 11 to 5; Fri. from 11 to 8; Sat. 10 to 5; and Sun. 12 to 3.

For a list of participating artists and details on the exhibit and other Berkeley Arts Council activities, visit http://www.berkeleyartswv.org. Note: The discount offer is only valid between 4 and 6pm on Saturday April 9 and does not apply to classes, workshops or membership fees.


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Deadline Approaching: “Photo16 Juried Photography Exhibit”

The April 18 deadline for entries is less than a month away for the Berkeley Arts Council’s “Photo16”, 2016 juried photography exhibit, which 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.

The Juror for the exhibit is Bruce Katsiff, former Director and CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum (1989-2012).

Entries are open now through April 18. Details and online entry instructions visit http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/photo16/

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: Photo15 Best in Show "Stairway to Nowhere" by Mike Pulsifer of Martinsburg, WV.
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Second Annual Shepherd International Guitar Festival

Shepherd University’s Department of Music is delighted to announce that we will host the second annual Shepherd International Guitar Festival-the only one of its kind in the region-Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15, 2016. The festival will be sponsored by Integrity Home Mortgage Corporation, which helps make it possible to bring internationally-acclaimed artists to our region, and to offer several concerts free of charge to the public.

This four-day festival includes master classes, guitar lessons, guitar ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and five concerts by international artists and pedagogues.  The festival will include concerts and events in the Frank Center for the Arts and churches in historic Shepherdstown, WV.  Festival participation is open to adults, college students, and high school and middle school students of all ability levels.

The lineup of artists for the 2016 Festival is impressive, presenting a variety of genres and styles including headliner William Kanengiser, founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; multi-genre artist Michael Chapdelaine-the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world’s top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres; celebrated husband-and-wife guitar duo, Klasinc & Lončar; and international artists D’Amore Duo, featuring Emily Tsai, oboist and guitarist William Feasley.  The Festival will conclude with a concert featuring guitar participants. 

To learn more about the concerts-many of which are free-please follow this link: http://www.shepherd.edu/music/shepherd-international-guitar-festival-2016/


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Pianist Thomas Pandolfi to Perform Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” With The Maryland Symphony

Hagerstown, MD - Pianist Thomas Pandolfi will be the guest artist when the Maryland Symphony Orchestra presents its final Masterworks Concerts of the 2015-2016 Season on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

Pandolfi will perform George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  The MSO, under the leadership of Music Director Elizabeth Schulze, will also perform Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (From the New World), and Dreamtime Ancestors, a new work by American composer Christopher Theofanidis, which was commissioned by 48 regional orchestras (including the MSO) throughout the country. 

Pandolfi is an exciting virtuoso who, with each passing season, is becoming more and more sought after by audiences worldwide, and showered with superlatives by critics for his passionate artistry and amazing technique.

During the 2015-2016 Season he will be the guest soloist with The National Philharmonic, Ohio Valley Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, North Charleston Pops, Alexandria Symphony, Wilson Symphony, and the Southwest Suburban Symphony in Milwaukee.  His recent recital touring schedule will take him to California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Oregon.  Thomas’ international concerts have carried him across the globe to China and Europe.

Composers Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Vassar Kluge have composed The American Piano Concerto for Pandolfi.  The premier performance will be presented on May 7, 2016.  A graduate of The Juilliard School, he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a scholarship student.

All ticket holders are encouraged to attend Prelude which takes place one hour (7:00 p.m.) before each Masterworks Concert.  MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the guest artists share information on featured composers and their works that will enhance concert-goers enjoyment and appreciation of the concert.

The concert is being sponsored by Springhill Suites and Courtyard Hotel.  The Artist Sponsors are Barbara & Tom Henderson and Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hood.  Additional funding is being provided by the Herald Mail Media and Mercedes-Benz of Hagerstown.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.marylandsymphony.org, by phone at 301-797-4000, or in person at the MSO Office at 30 W. Washington Street. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For the sixth consecutive season, the MSO will be providing FREE Masterworks concert tickets to students in grades one through 12.  This free student ticket initiative is generously underwritten by contributions from Music Director Elizabeth Schulze, Susquehanna Bank, The Rotary Club of Hagerstown, and The Rotary Club of Long Meadows Foundation.

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


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Friends Of Music Sponsoring Woodwind Concert In Shepherdstown, WV April 9

Shepherdstown WV’s Friends of Music will close out its 2015-2016 concert season with a concert by the Two Rivers Woodwind Quintet on Saturday, April 9.  The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Shepherdstown’s Trinity Episcopal Church.  It will feature the following works by French, Argentine, German and American composers:

  • “Trios Pièces Brèves” (1930), by Jacques Ibert
  • “Milonga Sin Palabras” (1979), by Astor Piazzolla
  • “Quintet in B-flat, Op. 56” (1821), by Franz Danzi
  • “Quintet in C, Op. 79” (1898), by August Klughardt
  • Highlights from “Porgy and Bess” (1934), by George Gershwin


Admission to the concert will be free for Friends of Music members. The ticket price for others will be $20 per person ($18 before April 2).

Tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at http://www.friendswv.org or by mail (FOM, PO Box 220, Shepherdstown, WV 25443). Visa and Master Card will be accepted.

The Two Rivers Woodwind Quintet includes the following musicians:

Barbara Spicher, Flute. Ms. Spicher is principal flutist of the Mercersburg Chorus and Orchestra and the Shippensburg University Festival Orchestras, and performs with the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra in Shepherdstown. She is professor of flute at Maryland’s Hood College, Mercersburg Academy and the Preparatory Division of Shepherd University.

David Garcia, Oboe. Mr. Garcia has performed with many of the region’s leading orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Maryland Symphony, and the New Orchestra of Washington.

David Drosinos, Clarinet. Mr. Drosinos has performed in Greece, Ireland, Moscow, Finland, the Bahamas and all over the continental U.S. He teaches at the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Peabody Preparatory, and Shepherd University.

Lynn Moncilovich, Bassoon. Ms. Moncilovich is the principal bassoonist of Central Maryland’s Londontowne Symphony Orchestra, and second bassoonist with the Keystone Wind Ensemble in Pennsylvania. She also performs frequently with the Lancaster PA Symphony Orchestra.

Daniel Carter, Horn. Mr. Carter is adjunct horn instructor at Shepherd University and teaches Elementary Band and Strings in the Howard County MD Public System.  He is principal horn of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra.

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence in the region. For full information about the Friends and their concerts go to http://www.friendswv.org.


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Women’s History Month At Harpers Ferry NHP: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Saturday and Sunday March 26th and 27th 2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park invites the public to attend a Women’s History Month Program, Necessity the Mother of Invention from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Come see industrial revolution debuted machines, gadgets, and gizmos that helped offer Americans more time, more money and established a burgeoning middle class. Harpers Ferry women took advantage of these inventions and employed them in their everyday lives with family, field and factory.

Living history staffed exhibits will feature industrial & scientific advances in, medicines, home entertainment, food preservation, commercial baking, and clothing production.


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“The Best Civil War Story” Is Back: March 31 To April 2 In Shepherdstown

“The Best Civil War Story,” three unique 90-minute evenings of diary reading and music taken from six families in Jefferson County before, during and after the Civil War, will return by popular demand to the Black Box Arts Center, 113 S. Princess Street in Shepherdstown at 8 PM Thursday March 31st, Friday (April 1st), and Saturday (April 2nd). Admission is $7.

The written experiences of the Lee, Boteler, Pendleton, Douglas, Strother, and Morgan families are shared each night chronologically in a woven narrative by Ardyth Gilbertson, Homer Speaker and Jim Surkamp, blended with fifty musical pieces from the era performed by Terry Tucker.  Sound and lights will be by John Bloomquist. Doors open at 7:15. Parking is available nearby at Jefferson Security Bank and streets. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at blackboxartscenter.org

All emailed responses to the previous performance of the identical event in March 2015 are: “captivating,” “fantastic,” “super”,“wonderful”, “fabulous,” “awesome,” “phenomenal” and “profound local history” - “Your performances are profoundly affective. I love the vocabulary and intelligence of these Jefferson people. How could anyone know, except from theatre performance, what actually happened here? I now feel like I belong here” - “The Best Civil War Story was enthralling. Through the stories and character development I’m certain I want to learn much more about our tiny town. You did a remarkable job. I hope you will consider a performance more than once annually. What a tourist attraction! The lives and time via letters. Thank you!” - “Thank you for opening my eyes to my family’s history.” - “I was totally blown away last night. And meeting Lucy and Louise from the Dandridge and Bedinger families was so great.” - (Newman, Pellish, Green, Keller, Tonacci, Sanders, Lidgerding, Ellen Smith, Young, Helene Richards-Bakin others)


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Shepherd University Lifelong Learning Announces Upcoming Events

Tuesday, March 22 - Café Society, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. in the Student Center Rumsey Room.  Topic will be on “New Perspectives on Physician-Assisted Suicide.”  This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 22 - Model U.N. Shep Talk, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education Auditorium.  This TED Talk type event will allow Model United Nations team members to present information on the organization, their preparations to compete, prior competition successes, and the impact Model U.N. has had on their education, global perspective, and future education plans.  This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 23 - Brown Bag Luncheon Lecture, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, Multipurpose Room.  The lecture is titled “Jewels of the Forest”, the small world of myxomycete or “slime molds” which come in a variety of colors and shapes.  Cost is $15; free to members.

Wednesday, March 23 - Film at the Byrd Center, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education Auditorium.  The film is titled “The Black Panthers:  Vanguard of the Revolution.”  In this 2015 documentary film, it draws on the most recent scholarship on the Black Power Movement in America and challenges many of the enduring characterizations of the Black Panthers.Doors open at 6:00 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.

There are still spaces open on the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum tour on Friday, April 1st.  We will leave in a 24-passenger bus at 7:45 a.m. to Bridgeport for lunch at Provence Market Café, a lovely French restaurant.  After lunch, we will travel to Weston to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also known as Weston Psychiatric Hospital which closed in 1998, for a 90-minute historic tour of all four floors.  Afterwards, we will travel back to Shepherdstown. Cost is $109; $99 for members.  Transportation, tour ticket and lunch is included.  Call to reserve your space.


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West Virginia Independent Insurance Agents PAC Endorse Beth Walker For Supreme Court

Charleston, W.Va. – The Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia announced their political action committee has endorsed Beth Walker for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

“After a significant review of the candidates in this race, it was clear to our members that Beth Walker will be an independent voice for the people and businesses of our state. She has the legal experience and judicial philosophy that will allow all parties before our state’s highest court to have a fair shake.” said David Stacy, President of the IIAWV. “Beth Walker is the only candidate that will continue to improve the judicial landscape in the Mountain State.”

The Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia, Inc. (IIAWV) is West Virginia’s oldest and largest insurance trade association. IIAWV represents more than 1,800 licensed independent insurance agents whose primary emphasis is on property and casualty insurance. Independent agencies range in size from a family-owned one-office firm to a statewide multi-office firm. IIAWV is a member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of American (IIABA).

“I am honored to have the support of independent insurance agents in our state,” said Beth Walker. “We are working hard to earn the support of organizations and individuals like this who appreciate the importance of a fair, impartial and nonpolitical judiciary.”

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, which is Primary Election Day. Unlike prior years, that will be the only day to vote in this race.


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Parks and Rec. Offering Co-ed Spring Break Basketball Skills for Grades 1-8

This three day co-ed camp is structured to focus on correct basketball skills and the fundamentals through drill exercises and activities, as well as necessary training and conditioning needed to be the best athlete they can be. It will be held at the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center gymnasium, Tuesday, March 29 - Thursday, March 31, 2016 from 9am - 12noon.

Camp instructors: All State HHS & D1 college basketball player, Brady Catlett and All State HHS and NAIA All American, Kenny Roberts.

Registration is open to boys and girls currently enrolled in grades 1st - 8th.

Registration fee is $60 per child

Doors open at 8:15am - prompt pick up at 12noon is required. Registration deadline is Friday, March 25th. Space is limited to the first 30 participants. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. NO REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE DOOR.

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

To download a copy of the form, follow this link: http://www.mbcparks-rec.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/CoED-Basketball-Spring-Break-Skills-Camp.pdf

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

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/5NjCc2
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West Virginia Farm Bureau Endorses Beth Walker for Supreme Court

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Farm Bureau announced today their political action committee has endorsed Beth Walker for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

“This is an extremely important race for West Virginia,” said WVFB President Charles Wilfong. “Beth Walker is strong on business and her views parallel the values of Farm Bureau. She’s been endorsed by the West Virginia Business and Industry Council, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and many other like-minded groups. We need someone with her wisdom and sense of fairness on our Supreme Court.”

Representing more than 23,000 members, the West Virginia Farm Bureau was founded in 1919 to provide leadership, education, information, training and economic services to county farm bureaus to enhance the quality of life for its members.

“I am honored to have the support of the Farm Bureau and West Virginia’s farmers for my candidacy for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals,” said Beth Walker. “We are working hard to earn the support of organizations like these who appreciate the importance of a fair, impartial and nonpolitical judiciary.”

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, which is Primary Election Day. Unlike prior years, that will be the only day to vote in this race.


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Visit Hagerstown-Washington County CVB Releases 2016 Official Visitors Guide

Hagerstown, MD – Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is proud to announce the arrival of its 2016 Visitor Guide. The first printing is being made available to visitors, CVB members, AAA offices, Visitor Welcome Centers, travel bureaus, tour organizations and convention groups, malls, and other tourism offices. More than 100,000 visitors guides are being distributed.

The portable size includes colorful photography and highlights the Centennial of the National Parks. The guide was designed and by Worx Graphic Design, Inc of Hagerstown, MD, and the Herald Mail handled the printing.  The cover depicts a glossed aerial photo of 4 out of 5 of Washington County’s National Parks, from atop Weverton Cliff, and was commissioned by the CVB to local photographer, Scott Cantner.  Cantner, who used his drone for to capture the spectacular shot, was the winner of the CVB’s #happyinhagerstown photo contest in 2015.

New this year is a fold-out map that depicts 4 of the 5 National Parks in Washington County. The 80-page guide includes maps of Hagerstown and Washington County, restaurant and shopping listings, details about annual special events, a service guide, and an updated accommodations section that highlights amenities available at hotels, motels, campgrounds, and bed and breakfasts.

“This year’s Visitors Guide has a special design that highlights the National Parks of our county, as the National Parks Service is celebrating their Centennial Anniversary of the creation of the parks system in our nation. With Antietam National Battlefield, the C&O Canal, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Maryland Heights portion of Harper’s Ferry National Park, we hope that visitors will take advantage of being able to visit all 5 national parks right here in our county. The National Park Service is encouraging the use of a #findyourpark hash tag, and visitors can certainly find their park here, and unique ways to explore them,”  said Dan Spedden, president of the CVB.

“The annual Hagerstown-Washington County Visitor Guide is the most sought-after resource about our area,” said CVB director of operations, Jolene Thomas. “Visitors appreciate and utilize the CVB’s annual guide to Washington County.”

The 2016 Visitor Guide is available at the downtown Hagerstown Visitor Welcome Center. Residents and visitors are welcome to stop in and pick up a copy. The Visitor Guide may also be requested online at http://www.visithagerstown.com.  The guide will also be available as a photo flip-book on the CVB’s web site.

Tens of thousands of guides are sent to people who request them because of advertisements in magazines and on web sites. Bulk purchases of the Visitor Guide may be arranged for area businesses for their marketing and relocation efforts.
About Visit Hagerstown: Visit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a 501-C6 organization whose mission is to develop tourism and market Washington County to meeting planners, leisure travelers and business customers. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. http://www.visithagerstown.com.


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Forum Invites Public To Learn About Public Drinking Water

West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the League of Women Voters of Jefferson County and other local partners will host a free public forum on how residents can get involved in drinking water protection, May 12, 6:30–8:30pm at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown.

The event focuses on how Jefferson County residents and businesses can help shape “source water protection plans.” A law passed after the 2014 water crisis in Charleston requires most public water systems to submit a source water protection plan by July 1, 2016. Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Charles Town, and some of the county’s community systems are preparing plans now.

The law also requires water utilities to involve the public in crafting the plans. The May 12 event in Shepherdstown is the one of four regional forums WV Rivers Coalition is hosting to facilitate public participation.

The event features exhibits by local water utilities, agencies that work on water, and nonprofit organizations. The evening also includes “Drinking Water Jeopardy,” an interactive game based on the popular game show. A free booklet on how to be involved in drinking water protection will be given to event attendees.

“The water crisis made people realize drinking water can’t be taken for granted,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “Following the water crisis, a new law gives the public a voice in drinking water protection. This event is an engaging way for people to learn how to get involved.”

More information at http://www.wvrivers.org/make-a-difference/source-water-protection.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/4syfb
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Shepherd University will host the Appalachian Studies Association’s annual conference

Shepherd University will host the Appalachian Studies Association’s annual conference in Shepherdstown, WV from March 17 to 20. More than 800 scholars, students, activists, artists, and learners will come together on share scholarship, exchange ideas, and engage in dialogue about the region’s history and future.

As part of the conference, the Performing Arts Series at Shepherd will present “Voices from the Mountains,” a special showcase concert featuring Good Foot Dance Company; honky-tonk and country swing from John Lilly and Blue Yonder; and Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach.

Good Foot Dance Company—featuring dancers Matthew Olwell, Emily Oleson, and Becky Hill—-will showcase a blend of Irish step, Appalachian clogging, and buck dance and tap traditions spanning the roots of American dance. Good Foot brings more than 30 years of collected experience to the stage with a list a performance highlights that include the Newport Folk Festival (as the Seeger Clogging All-Stars), The Kennedy Center, The Song of the Mountains for PBS, and guest performances with the Chieftains, Lunasa, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the London production of Riverdance.

A member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee from Cherokee, North Carolina, Lloyd Arneach has told stories of his people at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian’s National Folklife Festival, the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Storytelling Festival, schools, universities, and other venues throughout the United States.

From Charleston, West Virginia, Blue Yonder weaves strands of early country music - from swing to honky-tonk, bluegrass and rockabillly - with award-winning original compositions from songwriter and lead singer John Lilly. The group features some of West Virginia’s most seasoned musicians including steel guitarist Russ Hicks, bassist Will Carter, and Jupiter Little.

Tickets are available now at the Shepherd University Bookstore by calling 304-876-5219. $15 general admission; $10 Shepherd staff/senior citizens/ASA conference registrants; $5 kids under 18; and FREE for Shepherd students with valid Rambler.

To learn more about the conference, visit: http://www.appalachianstudies.org/annualconference

For more information about the artists:
Lloyd Arneach: http://www.arneach.com/
Good Foot Dance Company: https://mattolwell.wordpress.com/good-foot/
John Lilly and Blue Yonder: http://pages.suddenlink.net/johnlillymusic/BlueYonder.html


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Libertarian Couple Announce Candidacies for State Legislature

Press release received from WV Libertarian Party

In what may be a first in West Virginia electoral politics, a wife-and-husband couple in Hardy County has announced their candidacies as Libertarians for House of Delegates and State Senate, respectively. Tonya Persinger and her husband, Matt, decided they were tired of political business as usual and that voters deserved a choice on the ballot other than Republicans and Democrats. “We’re for smaller government – economic liberty, reducing taxes, home-schooling and parental rights, hemp and marijuana law reform, helping people voluntarily, 2nd Amendment gun rights, ‘lifestyle’ freedom – but the major parties don’t speak for us anymore,” said Tonya Persinger, who home-schools the couple’s two young boys. Adds Matt, “We’re steadily losing our liberties in this country and our state economy is in dire shape. We want to be able to tell our kids that we did our share to try to turn things around – towards personal liberty, towards economic prosperity, towards the tolerant and productive America our country can be for all.” Tonya Persinger is running for House of Delegates in the 55th District (Hardy and Pendleton Counties). Matt Persinger is seeking election to the State Senate in the 14th District (all or portions of Barbour, Grant, Hardy, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, and Tucker Counties).

Matt Persinger obtained his full GED at the early age of 16, took classes in machine technology, served in the U.S. Army’s famed 3rd U.S. Infantry (“The Old Guard”) at Fort Myer, Virginia, and is currently earning an Associate’s Degree in Business Management at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (“Eastern”). At Eastern, he is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. On his father’s side, Matt’s family hails from the New River Gorge area of downstate West Virginia. He has worked as a machinist throughout his adult life, “from firearms to airplanes.”

Tonya Morgan Persinger has worked hard her whole life. “My mother, stepdad, grandparents all taught me that if you worked hard, you could have all you needed for a happy, prosperous life,” Tonya relates. She worked her way up the ladder to become a finance director of a Lexus dealership. She worked “nights, holidays, weekends” and is proud of her work ethic. She and Matt made a determination, however, that, with their kids in mind, Tonya would transition to the equally challenging work of a stay-at-home Mom and would home-school their boys for a more focused education with greater opportunity for their self-discovery. As she watched the economy falter in 2008 and 2009, she began to follow the political views of former Republican Congressman, and former Presidential candidate, Ron Paul. “It was an eye-opener to learn more about the economy and the Federal Reserve. It was disillusioning. I learned how politics plays such a role in controlling economics to benefit corporate insiders,” she explains.

“So now I’m a home-schooler, we’re active in sports, I coach soccer, I’m a Libertarian; I believe in self-sufficiency, voluntarism, and homesteading,” Tonya says. Among many legislative concerns, she strongly supports the so-called ‘Tebow’ bill to let home-schooled kids participate in public school sports and other activities.

Tonya and Matt Persinger embody the wave of grass-roots citizenship activism that is sweeping across West Virginia and the country this election year. Not professional politicians, Tonya (and Matt) puts it in everyday terms: “I want my kids to have the opportunities and freedoms I have had. I want them to be able to excel as entrepreneurs. To be rugged individualists who can aim for the stars and succeed if they work hard. Not the conformity, welfare, and shared misery of a society where the government runs everything.” “If we don’t have economic freedom,” she adds, “we don’t have freedom.”

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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Youth Art Month Exhibits On Display at the Berkeley Art Works Through March 26

The Berkeley Arts Council’s Youth Art Month exhibits include photographs from the four Berkeley County high schools and a selection of middle school art from the six Berkeley County middle schools. The exhibits are on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg through March 26. The gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-5, Saturday, 10-5.

Each of the four high schools art programs are represented by ten framed photographs that show a variety of styles and techniques. Images include portraits, landscapes and creative fine art in color and black and white.

Each of the Middle Schools provided four works by students and are on display in the Back Space gallery in the Berkeley Art Works.

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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April Events at Asbury UMC (UPDATED)

Asbury UMC Welcomes Back Gospel Legends - The Jacobs Brothers
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV is excited to host The Jacobs Brothers at a special Gospel Concert on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 6 p.m.  The Jacobs Brothers are international veterans of gospel music who have traveled millions of miles and produced more than 50 albums.  They will be joined onstage by local gospel favorites – The Men In Black Gospel Singers.  This concert is open to the public and admission is free.  There will be a free will offering to help the singers offset their expenses. Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

*** REVISED!!! *** Asbury UMC Announces Holy Week Schedule – PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO WORSHIP IN OUR SANCTUARY SO THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CHANGES TO THE HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our community to celebrate Holy Week & Easter Sunday with us.  Please join us on Palm Sunday - March 20th, as we will hold three meaningful worship services at 8:30, 9:35 and 11 that will include uplifting music Asbury’s Praise Band and Sanctuary Choir.

On Holy Thursday – March 24th, Asbury commemorates the Last Supper with a Communion Worship Service at 7 PM.  On Good Friday - March 25th, Asbury joins the South Jefferson Ministerial Association in the ‘Walk Of Witness’ at 10 AM (please meet on the front steps of Asbury for a Cross Walk through Charles Town); then from 9am – 3pm, Asbury will hold a Prayer Vigil in Moler Chapel and then we will hold a Good Friday Tenebrae Service at 7 PM.  On March 27th - Easter Sunday - Asbury begins the day with other area Christians at the Community Easter Sunrise Service at Jefferson Memorial Park followed by two special Easter Worship Services at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (We will meet at Washington High School in Charles Town for our Easter Worship Services).  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information about any of our Holy Week.

Asbury UMC To Hold Pentecost Unity Service
Asbury UMC in Charles Town WV invites our entire community to join us as we celebrate the Church’s birthday on Sunday; May 15thwith a special Pentecost Unity Service.  This single service at 10 AM will feature special music, readings, a dynamic sermon and much, much more.  Everyone is then invited to join in for a time of fellowship following the 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.orgfor more information.

Asbury UMC Easter Bible Study
Asbury UMC in Charles Town will hold a 6 week Easter Bible Study beginning April 3rd at 5 PM titled “Ancient Roads: From Christ to Constantine.” This compelling six week study will take participants on an exciting and visually stunning journey to the beautiful and important historical places where Christianity was born and grew from a small movement called “The Way” to its place as the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Asbury UMC is located at 110 West North Street in Charles Town WV and our facilities are handicapped accessible.  Please call 304-725-5513 or visit http://www.myasburychurch.orgfor more information.

Yarn Ministry
Are you looking for a ministry of prayer and caring for others? You might consider a unique way to serve as the “hands” of Christ through crocheting or knitting—-and there is opportunity to support this ministry without knowing how to crochet or knit. Prayer is the focus—-and our mission is to create handmade gifts of comfort, hope and peace that demonstrate God’s love. Praying for a stranger helps us to learn to trust the truth that God works through us when we care for friends and strangers alike.  Join us on Sundays at 3 PM.


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Local Panera Bread® Announces $20000 Total Contribution to Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson Co.

Ranson, WV- The local Panera Bread franchise, comprised of 14 bakery-cafés along the Blue Ridge Mountains, presented the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County (AWS-JC) with a donation of $1650.00 on Tuesday, March 8th,  AWS-JC is the “Operation Dough-Nation” partner of our local Ranson Panera Bread and this $1650.00 contributed to their total contribution of $20000 over the past 10 years.  Panera’s Community Operation Dough-Nation program focuses on bringing Panera and its customers together to make a difference in the community. The Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County has been a partner since 2006.  Contributions from this year’s donation were made to sponsor the AWS’s new cat room and to help with renovation of their older dog kennels.

Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County- Serving the community continuously since 1952, the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, WV was incorporated in West Virginia on February 7, 1952 as a non-profit corporation. The Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, WV provides housing and adoption services for abandoned, surrendered and abandoned, neglected abused and unwanted dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.


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Libertarians Announce Fifth Statewide Candidate: Buddy Guthrie for Commissioner of Agriculture

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia today announced the latest of its candidates for statewide office in this critical election year: Buddy Guthrie, of Morgantown, for Commissioner of Agriculture. “Our food system has been turned into a bureaucratic maze of health codes, regulations, licensing, taxation, and other roadblocks that have crushed our small farmers and destroyed innovation. I’m running to bring back free enterprise through deregulation and decentralization to the increasingly bureaucratized field of agriculture in West Virginia,” said Guthrie. “We do not need more laws, more subsidies, and more ‘helping hands’ to support farmers in this state. Instead, the government needs to get out of the way and let both farmers and consumers, exchanging voluntarily, meet our agricultural needs,” he added.

“The centralized power of Big Agriculture is a product of the regulations of Big Government. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ‘Big Ag,’” Guthrie observed, “but there’s a lot wrong with using the heavy hand of government to benefit insiders at the expense of small businesses and ‘Mom-and-Pop’ farms, on the one hand, and the beleaguered family trying to stretch their limited means to put fresh, healthy products on the dinner table for their kids,” he explained. “Too often the big business is merely trying to stifle or limit the competition. That’s not right and that’s not fair to West Virginians.”

Guthrie becomes the fifth Libertarian to announce for statewide office this year, joining David D. Moran of Preston County for Governor, Karl Kolenich of Upshur County for Attorney General, John Buckley of Hardy County for Secretary of State, and Brent West of Wood County for Treasurer. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

With an undergraduate degree in business administration and a master’s degree in software engineering, both from West Virginia University, Guthrie has a background in family farming as well as experience in a multitude of fields, ranging from construction and event staffing to fitness instruction. He has been an avid volunteer for Boys & Girls Clubs and for programs bringing inner-city kids to the country for outdoor sports and character-building. He also teaches snow-boarding at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

Guthrie intends to advocate in particular for West Virginia’s nascent hemp industry, to promote “cottage food law” reform to enable home-based agricultural businesses to flourish, to speak out for local poultry farming (not just the industrial poultry processing facilities), and to represent small dairy and beef farmers seeking to break down barriers between producers and consumers. He calls for enhanced education of, and support for, farmers utilizing sustainable permaculture farming practices, such as those advanced by farmer/author and permaculture legend Joel Salatin.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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Jefferson County Historical Society Spring Meeting and Presentation by Mr. George Rutherford

The Jefferson County Historical Society Spring Meeting will be held at 2 pm April 3 at the Old Opera House, 204 N. George Street, in Charles Town, WV.  Following a brief business meeting, Mr. George Rutherford, Treasurer of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society (JCBHP), will make a free presentation about the Webb-Blessing House Historic Preservation Project being conducted by the JCBHP. The public is invited to attend.

Mr. Rutherford is a native of Jefferson County and a Page-Jackson High School graduate.  He received an A.B. degree in secondary education and a bachelor of arts degree from Shepherd College (now University) in biology.  He has a master’s degree from Marshall University in biological science and retired from the federal government after 42 years of serving as a Job Corps counselor and teacher, park ranger, finance manager, urban planner, and space utilization specialist.  He was a public schoolteacher and served our country as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army Airborne during the Korean War.  He was married to the late Barbara Smith Rutherford and is the father of an extended family of seven.  Honors which he has received include the T.G. Nutter Award by the West Virginia State NAACP (highest honor); State of West Virginia Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award; City of Ranson Citizen of the Year Award; Governor’s West Virginia Civil Rights Day Award. 

The Webb-Blessing House shown below consists of two homes that were adjoined in the 19th century.  This unique structure, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, played a significant role in Charles Town’s history, since it is located on East North Street, once a major thoroughfare between Winchester and Alexandria, Virginia.  The property was deeded by Samuel and Dorothea Washington to Ezekiel Dean in March 1797.  In 1829, Ezekiel Dean deeded the property to Isaac and Charlotte Gray, who were described as “persons of color.”  Shortly after this transfer, James Webb, a free Black, built a stone house on the lot.  This is one of the oldest stone structures built and owned by free Blacks in Jefferson County.  The Webb-Blessing House was purchased by the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society in 2003.


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Local Author, Stephen Bockmiller, to hold Book Signing at Hagerstown Visitor Welcome Center

Local Author, Stephen R. Bockmiller, will be holding a Book Signing at the Visitor Welcome Center on March 22, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Bockmiller has just written a new Images of America book, entitled “Washington County in the Civil War”. The Visitor Welcome Center is located at 6 North Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown.

“Washington County in the Civil War” tells stories of events and people in Washington County during the Civil War, and is woven around nearly 200 images of places and people in the County. Rather than recycle the standard images that have been published frequently in the past, the author sought out rare images of people and places, from Sideling Hill to South Mountain, from the Mason/Dixon to the Potomac, many of which are published here for the first time.

The book signing will have the new books available for purchase and is open to the public.

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


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Registration Open for Berkeley Arts Council April Classes

The Berkeley Arts Council will offer several new art classes in April to be presented at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

April starts out with “The Portrait: Capturing a Likeness” an introduction to portraiture taught by Jean Kellogg. The class is designed for people who wished they could draw a likeness of someone special but weren’t sure where to begin. The class provides a systematic approach to the process, which can help you capture that likeness. Tuesdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26; 1-4pm

Judith Becker also will offer “Beginning Pastel Painting”. The class introduces beginners and those with some experience to the process of creating paintings with pastels.  This easy and fast technique is exciting to use for all types of subjects, from landscapes, portraits, still lifes, florals and more.  It’s relatively easy to learn and to accomplish.  Students will produce several paintings applying the techniques taught. Thursdays, April 7, 14, 21, 28; 1-4pm

For those who are not familiar with pastels, the Arts Council has produced a short video that explains how it works. Visit http://vimeo.com/103647330.

“Applied Design and Composition learned from the Masters, Old and New” is a new offering taught by Judith Becker. This new class introduces students to exciting approaches to designing and composing their art through studies of old and new masters of art.  Class participants will analyze and critique works through the ages and then use compositional elements used by the masters to produce their own pieces.  This is a ‘must have’ next class for those who want to grow their art expertise.  Saturdays, April 9, 16, 23, 30; 10am-1pm

For details and online registration visit: http://artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/instruction/.

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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Red Cross Says, “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery”

MORGANTOWN, WVa – As clocks move ahead this weekend for daylight saving time, The American Red Cross North Central West Virginia Chapter would like to remind West Virginians to change their homes’ smoke alarm batteries, as well.

“ ‘Change your clock, change your battery’ is an easy phrase to remember and practice when you update your clocks this weekend,” says Carisa Collins, Executive Director of the chapter. “Smoke alarms, even those that are hard-wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and tested monthly to ensure you have the protection you need,” Collins says. “Use this time to protect your home and family.”

A working smoke alarm will double your survival chances during a home fire by giving you the critical time needed to escape. Most home fires occur at night when people are sleeping. A fire’s smoke and toxic gases can actually deepen your sleep, diminishing your chances of survival.

More than 90 percent of all American homes have smoke alarms, but as many as one-third of them don’t work – because of old or missing batteries. It is critical to replace batteries regularly – even if they appear to be working fine. Twice a year is recommended. This helps prevent the warning, low-battery “chirp” emitted by alarms. All too often, alarm batteries are removed but not replaced, putting home occupants at risk. There is no way to predict when a fire will occur, and just one night in a home without a working smoke alarm can prove dangerous. Replacing batteries for daylight saving time is just one fire safety step. Here are a few more:

Smoke alarms should be put inside and outside every room where residents sleep, and on each home level. All residents should know how the alarm sounds and what it means.

Smoke alarms need to be cleaned and maintained according to their instructions.

Have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room; teach it to everyone in the home, especially children.

When the smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to a pre-planned meeting place.

The Red Cross has supplies of new smoke alarms, and volunteers will help install them in your home free of charge and have special alarms for the disabled. Call 1-844-216-8286 to schedule your free installation.


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2016 Pre-Primary Candidate Forums and Events

The Berkeley and Jefferson County Republican Organizations are conducting a series of Candidate Forums and activities to inform the voting public about their candidates in the upcoming primary election.

With all the attention on the presidential candidates in the primaries, it is important to remember that the state and county races are just as important.  The voter registration deadline is April 19th and early voting for the primary election starts on April 27th.  The last day for early voting is May 7th with the Primary Election following on the 10th. For the first time in West Virginia Judges and Magistrates will be elected in the Primary Election (May 10th) on the Non-partisan Ballot. 

The Candidate Forums will be during the GOP meetings in March and April at different locations.  There will be a joint Candidate Forum for Berkeley County Republican Candidates for Sheriff.
The following forums are listed with dates, locations and contact information.

Looking Forward to Seeing You There!

March 17th  
Republican Candidates for Berkeley County Council, County Clerk and Prosecuting Attorney Races
Sponsored by Berkeley County Republican Club (BCRC) at the Golden Corral 6:30 pm
Contact: Don Forsht .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

March 28th  
Republican Candidates for Magistrate, Circuit Judge and Supreme Court
Sponsored by Gateway Republican Women (GRW) at the Hospice Education Center 6:30pm
Contact: Lynn Staton .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

March 31st
Republican Candidates for Berkeley County Sheriff
Sponsored by BCRC, GRW and Berkeley Co. Republican Executive Committee at
the Hospice Education Center, Kearneysville 6:30 pm
Contact: Lynn Staton .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

April 5th and 12th
Jefferson County Contested Races Forum/Debate
Sponsored by JCREC at Byrd Center Auditorium, Shepherd University 6:30 pm
Contact Peter Onoszko .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

April 16th
Berkeley County Republican Lincoln Dinner at St. Leo Catholic Church, Inwood WV
Featuring Republican Candidates from the Governor’s Race to County Offices.
Pre Dinner Reception 5-6 pm Ticket: $20 and Dinner beginning at 6:30 Ticket: $40
Contact For Tickets contact Mike Holz at 304 839-3269, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Candidates contact Gary Kelley at 304 532-7411, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
For general information and directions contact Les Gallipo at 703 598-2255, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

April 21st
Republican Candidates for House of Delegates District 60 and 61st
Sponsored by Berkeley County Republican Club (BCRC) Golden Corral 6:30 pm
Contact: Don Forsht .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

April 25th
Republican Candidates for State Senate – Districts 15 and 16
Sponsored by Gateway Republican Women (GRW) Hospice Education Center at 6:30pm
Contact: Lynn Staton .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/5z2jST
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Youth Art Month Exhibits On Display at the Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Arts Council’s Youth Art Month exhibits include photographs from the four Berkeley County high schools and a selection of middle school art from the six Berkeley County middle schools. The exhibits are on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg through March 26. There will be a reception on Friday, March 11 from 4-6pm. The reception is free and open to the public and all are encouraged to come and show support for the young artists. The gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-5, Saturday, 10-5.

Each of the four high schools art programs are represented by ten framed photographs that show a variety of styles and techniques. Images include portraits, landscapes and creative fine art in color and black and white.

Each of the Middle Schools provided four works by students and are on display in the Back Space gallery in the Berkeley Art Works.

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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WV Contractors Endorse Beth Walker for Supreme Court

Press release from Walker for Supreme Court Campaign

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia has made significant strides in the past year with regards to reforming its once predatory legal climate, opening up regulatory barriers to promote job creation and by making significant reforms to its labor laws. These types of changes have only been possible through a newly elected, motivated and ambitious legislative majority that is truly vested in bettering the lives of all West Virginians.

To ensure that these reforms are not undermined by an activist Supreme Court of Appeals, it is imperative that our state’s highest judicial body continue down the path of progress with a composition of members that are impartial, understand and respect the State’s constitution and are not beholden to any special interest groups. For these reasons, along with countless others, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABCWV) are placing its member’s support behind Beth Walker.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.

“Beth Walker has shown throughout her career a dedication to legal objectivity, fair and impartial courts and the utmost respect for the laws that guide our state’s businesses and citizens. These characteristics are critical in a Supreme Court Justice, and our membership is more than confident that she will fulfill them,” said ABCWV President Bryan Hoylman. “For entirely too long our Judicial system in West Virginia has been at the unpredictable mercy of a court bound by special interests. We need to restore credibility and faith in this branch of government, and Beth Walker is the only candidate on the ballot capable to getting us there,” Hoylman continued.

The Board of Directors at ABCWV unanimously agreed to endorse Beth Walker for the May 10th Election.


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WV CALA: If Campaign Finance Case Is Appealed, Justice Davis Should Recuse Herself

Charleston, W.Va. – If Justice Benjamin’s public campaign finance case is appealed, as is being discussed, Justice Robin Davis should recuse herself to preserve the integrity of the high court, a legal watchdog group said today.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) released a statement pointing out that Justice Robin Davis’ close relatives are contributors to Justice Benjamin’s campaign, and to ensure justice is served in the appeals process, Justice Davis should step aside for this matter.

“We are urging Justice Robin Davis to recuse if the Benjamin case comes before the court. Justice Davis’ son and her husband contributed to the candidate in question. It also appears as though Justice Davis’ mother contributed and was also involved in raising a substantial number of contributions for Benjamin. Justice Davis should remove herself from the case in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman issued a thirty-four-page order (here) that said the State Election Commission’s decision to certify Justice Brent Benjamin for public campaign finance assistance was “clearly erroneous,” and the judge reversed the decision. Justice Benjamin said his campaign would consider having Judge Kaufman’s decision reviewed, which would mean an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

“The Code of Judicial Conduct says ‘a judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned’ and it seems pretty clear in this situation. West Virginia’s taxpayers and voters deserve a fair and impartial hearing of the matter,” concluded Stauffer.


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Candidate for Berkeley County Sheriff speaks out against Governor Tomblin’s veto on HB 4245

Press release received from Davy Jones for Berkeley County campaign

Today governor Tomblin again ignores the will of the people over special interests. The governor vetoed “Constitutional Carry”, HB4145.

“Law enforcement officers throughout West Virginia have voiced overwhelming opposition to this bill. In light of their concerns and in the interest of public safety, the exercise of my veto power is appropriate,” the governor said.

“As your next sheriff I will not let a “slush fund” stand in the way of restoring the second amendment rights of West Virginians! I support Constitutional Carry and I believe that the sheriff’s that are concerned about “safety” issues are really concerned for their “slush fund. said Davy Jones

“I have full confidence that the governor’s veto is to pander to law enforcement and special interests. Members of law enforcement already treat every encounter as if that person is armed. This bill would not change anything on the side of law enforcement. The sheriffs are only concerned about losing money.  This bill will make West Virginia safer. “, argued Mr. Jones.

For more information on Davy Jones’s campaign for sheriff, please visit his website.

http://www.davyjonesforwv.com
http://www.vote4davyjones.org


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Passage Of Outside Counsel Legislation Closes The Door On Backroom Deals

Press release received from West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Legislature and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey deserve recognition for their work on a good-government outside counsel rule requiring transparency and competitive bidding for the appointment of private attorneys to represent the state and its agencies, according to legal watchdog group West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA).

“For many years we saw excesses in former Attorney General McGraw’s administration with backroom deals made to hire, and often enrich, politically connected private lawyers. The legislation passed by the legislature today (HB 4007) establishes strong ethical requirements for attorneys general, and the competitive bidding requirement will help ensure taxpayers’ dollars are spent efficiently,” said Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of WV CALA.

The hiring of outside counsel by the state is not unusual and can help ensure that West Virginia has the best legal expertise and representation available. There are times when the state is involved in very complex litigation, when it may be necessary for an attorney general to retain the services of outside attorneys.

In 2013, Attorney General Morrisey led the way in implementing an outside counsel policy requiring transparency and competitive bidding for the appointment of private attorneys to represent the state. The outside counsel policy is estimated to have saved the state over four million dollars since it was implemented.

“We applaud Attorney General Morrisey for his strong leadership in transforming the office of Attorney General by setting policy to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to make available the best legal representation to the State of West Virginia,” Stauffer added.

“We also want to thank Senate President Cole, Speaker Armstead and other members of the legislature for enacting this outside counsel policy. We can rest assured that going forward there will be transparency in the process by which we hire outside attorneys to represent our state. Not only will this policy save money for our state and taxpayers going forward, it will close the door on the type of backroom deals we saw under former Attorney General Darrell McGraw,” concluded Stauffer.


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Travis Simms Announces Candidacy as Libertarian for 32nd District House of Delegates

Rainelle, WV (Fayette County) The Libertarian Party of West Virginia today announces yet another Libertarian candidate for the House of Delegates in the 2016 elections: Travis Simms in the primarily Fayette County-based three-member 32nd district. “The biggest problems facing the citizens of West Virginia and, in particular, the people of the 32nd District are the economy and its depressing off-shoot of hopelessness, drug abuse, and population decline,” says Simms. “We need a shake-up in the state legislature and an end to the partisan bickering of Republicans and Democrats. I’ll promote a problem-solving approach that respects the limits of what government programs can accomplish and encourages personal freedom as well as personal responsibility.” “I short, I think it’s time for a Libertarian in the legislature,” he contends.

Simms is the latest of the increasing number of Libertarians to announce for office this year, joining the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Governor, David D. Moran (Preston County), whose candidacy in 2012 for Governor gained the party official recognition status, its candidate for Attorney General, Karl Kolenich (Upshur County), its candidate for Secretary of State, John Buckley (Hardy County), and its candidate for State Treasurer, Brent West (Wood County). The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

Simms has deep roots in the counties of southeastern West Virginia, as a graduate of Midland Trail High School and of Concord University. At Concord, he founded a nationally recognized chapter of Students for Liberty, a non-partisan student organization advocating for peace, free market economics, tolerance, and social freedom.

“Conservatives and liberals are talking past each other in the debate over public issues,” argues Simms, “and neither is listening to the public.” The public, he says, “wants economic growth, but not in the form of crony capitalism and special favors to government insiders.” At the same time, he emphasizes, “it’s time for West Virginia to embrace its diversity, respect the environment, and tolerate the life-style differences that arise from our heritage of liberty.”

The Libertarian Party supports free-market, limited government as well as personal liberties. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.


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Sons of Confederate Veterans to host the First Annual Confederate Flag and Southern Heritage Day

On March 5, the West Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will host the First Annual Confederate Flag and Southern Heritage Day from 10 a.m. to noon on E. Race St., across from the Belle Boyd House.  March 4 is nationally known as Confederate Flag Day.

Members of the SCV see the flag as a symbol of bravery and courage of their ancestors. They say it’s not about hate, but about history. They will have speakers to discuss the often criticized Confederate flag, and all Confederate flags. This is a chance for an educational experience to explain the entire history of the flag, little=known facts about the war, and more about their heritage.

That flag known the world over, with white stars in a dark blue St. Andrew’s Cross on red background, has been the center of controversy once again ever a tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, last year.

Member Randy Taylor said his speech Saturday will be very positive. “I’ll start with 1st National flag that was raised on March 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Ala., by Letitia Tyler, granddaughter of former president John Tyler. However, because of its similarity to the U.S. flag when used on the battlefields, the Army of Northern Virginia designed a square flag with the cross of St. Andrews, which today is most commonly referred to as the ‘Confederate Flag’ but was never officially a National Flag. In 1863 a new national flag design was released, known as ‘The Stainless Banner.’”

Finally, he said a 3rd National flag was issued on March 4, 1865, known as ‘The Blood Stained Banner.’

Unfortunately, years after the war, groups like the KKK which originated in the northern region of the country, adopted the flag as a hate symbol.

Taylor said, “Over the years the meaning of these flags has been adopted and used by various groups for their purposes. Currently, the majority seem to be buying into the concept of ‘cultural cleansing’ and thinking that every vestige of the Confederacy needs to be abolished, including statues, monuments, names of parks and streets, and of course, the flag because of the negative connotations that can be associated with it.”

Sons of Confederate Veterans Executive Director Mike Landree Lt. Col. USMC retired, is will also speak.

Landree said the South was oppressed economically and representatively in Congress by the northern states and had the right according to the Constitution to secede, but that didn’t mean war. The lower South seceded first, and then the upper South attempted to secede after Lincoln’s call for troops to bring the lower south back in line.

“Those states were Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri,” he said. Some states were stopped from seceding by federal troops, he added, such as the takeover of the Maryland legislature, imprisonment of representatives and the Baltimore mayor.

“The South seceded under the same legal principles of the colonies’ secession from England in 1776,” Landree said. “Lincoln’s Republican Party was formed for the interests of the northern industrialists at the expense of other sections of the country. The north wanted a national government rather than the Jeffersonian republican principles we’d existed under since the Constitution.”

He said that was replaced by the Hamiltonian federal government, in which states were no longer sovereign and able to delegate certain powers to a national government. The government made them controlled provinces which became the form of government we have today.

He pointed out the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in rebelling states, not states already controlled by the federal government where it would have been easy, and West Virginia was admitted as a slave state.

Landree added, “If the war was about slavery, where does the Corwin Amendment of March 1861 come in? That amendment was passed by a northern-controlled congress and ratified by three northern states. It was designed to preserve slavery as a Constitutional amendment forever.”

He continued, “Why did they need the former Confederate states to later ratify the 13th Amendment into law? The inconsistencies are tremendous.”

He said while the Southern people recognized blacks as being as Southern and American as they were, many northern states passed laws to remove blacks from their society.

“They wanted them to go back South, or back to Africa—anywhere other than where they were. And look at the Compromises of 1820 and 1850.”

According to http://www.history.about.com, the 1820 Missouri Compromise was a federal statute devised by Henry Clay. It regulated slavery in the country’s western territories by prohibiting the practice in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north, except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. The compromise was agreed to by both the pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups in the United States Congress and passed as a law in 1820, under the presidency of James Monroe.

The Missouri Compromise was effectively repealed by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, submitted to Congress by Stephen A. Douglas in January 1854. The Act opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission of slave states by allowing white male settlers in those territories to determine through popular sovereignty whether they would allow slavery within each territory.

The Compromise of 1850 was a series of five bills to deal with the spread of slavery to territories in order to keep northern and southern interests in balance. California was entered as a free state. New Mexico and Utah were each allowed to use popular sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery. In other words, the people would pick whether the states would be free or slave. The Republic of Texas gave up lands that it claimed in present day New Mexico and received $10 million to pay its debt to Mexico. The slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia. The Fugitive Slave Act made any federal official who did not arrest a runaway slave liable to pay a fine. This was the most controversial part of the Compromise of 1850 and caused many abolitionists to increase their efforts against slavery.

Landree also added there were many instances of black Confederates.  He said a large portion of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest’s troops were slaves to which Forest had promised freedom regardless of the war’s outcome. A black soldier from Mississippi was a prisoner of war for 19 months in Elmira and Point Lookout northern prisons after being captured following the battle of Gettysburg.

On the flip side of the story that inspired the movie “Glory,” there was a New Orleans all-black regiment with black officers that protected the city until they had to flee.

All Five Civilized Tribes of Native Americans fought with the South, he said. “They tracked the 1860 election and looked at the principles of the Constitution. They felt the South was in line with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The Confederate government recognized them as citizens equal to white men. And it promised it would uphold the responsibilities of U.S. treaties with them.”

There were Jewish Confederates, as well as Latinos. The chief of artillery for the Department of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia was a Cuban-born man.

He said the group is open to anyone who agrees with these principles, and there are many African Americans who are full members of the organization. The SCV has 850 camps in 41 states and 5 international camps.

Another Confederate Flag Day event will be held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Gettysburg, Pa., at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Photo: Members WV Div. Sons of Confederate Veterans with Conf. Flag
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As American as Apple Pie: Organic Methods to Fight Climate Change

Step back in time and make pie the 1860 way! On Saturday, March 26th, 2016, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will offer a 3-hour baking workshop, where participants will have the chance to bake and enjoy a slice of fresh fruit pie baked the 19th century way. 

Learn about the connections between the town’s early industrial history and modern issues such as climate change and a dependence on fossil fuels. Compare 19th century baking methods and discover how the historic Victorian system of food production can be applied today to help reduce an individual’s carbon footprint and mitigate climate change.

A workshop fee of $50.00 for adult participants covers baking ingredients and instruction by park staff in woodstove oven management. This event is suitable for children 12 and up with an attending parent. Visit the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Historic Trades Workshop web page for information about registering for this workshop. Registration closes on March 19th, 2016 and is limited to 10 participants.

Date: March 3, 2016
Contact: Melinda Day, 304-535-6063


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Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive

Charleston, West Virginia - The Craik -Patton House and West Virginia Public Broadcasting are partnering with Catholic Charities of West Virginia to sponsor a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. The drive will be March 10 to April 10 and a special collection day featuring a guest appearance by Mr. McFeely will be Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at WVPB in Charleston.

During the Neighborhood Sweater Drive, members of the community are asked to donate new or gently worn sweaters, as well as other winter clothing. Collection receptacles will be located at The Craik -Patton House, (2809 Kanawha Blvd. E.), and in all WVPB facilities in Charleston (600 Capitol St.), Beckley (124 Industrial Park Rd, Beaver) and Morgantown (191 Scott Ave.).

All clothing collected will benefit Catholic Charities across the state.

Mr. McFeely, the speedy delivery man on the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television show, will greet visitors on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at WVPB’s Charleston facility at 600 Capitol St. (March 20, would have been Fred Rogers’ 88th birthday).
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood personified a place where caring and consideration for others instilled good feelings in all of us,” said Paul Zuros, Executive Director of the Craik-Patton House. “These messages and the wonderful values that children learned from the program and Fred Rogers are timeless.  Fred Rogers’ cardigan sweater represents the gentle spirit, warmth, and nurturing of the Neighborhood,” Zuros continued.

All of Fred Rogers’ original sweaters were knitted by his mother. To help set the tone for a “comfortable” visit with his young viewers, Rogers put on his sweater and changed into sneakers as a way to help children settle in for his half-hour program. One of his sweaters is on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

The iconic sweater remains in the program Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood which features the next generation of many of the beloved characters from Mister Rogers as they learn important social and school-readiness skills in the same manner as the preschoolers Mister Rogers spoke to. A red sweater is the main outfit of Daniel Tiger. (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood airs on WVPB weekdays at 9 and 9:30 a.m., Saturdays at 7 and 7:30 a.m., and Sundays at 7:30 a.m.)

“Fred Rogers recognized that all of us, at some time or other, need help and that’s why he began the Neighborhood Sweater Drive,” said Scott Finn, WVPB Executive Director and CEO. “It’s such a simple gesture to provide a way for neighbors to help each other through this partnership with Craik-Patton House and Catholic Charities.”

“People need warmth, aid and assistance through the year,” added Paul Zuros, Executive Director of the Craik-Patton House in Charleston.  We’re happy to be a part of this project.” 

For More information contact:
Paul Zuros
Executive Director
Craik - Patton House
304-925-5341
http://www.craikpattonhouse.org


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Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council Features Seven Homes for 61st House & Garden Tour in 2016

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; 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 shown below 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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The Maryland Symphony Orchestra continues its 2015-2016 Masterworks Series in March with Beethoven

Hagerstown, MD-The Maryland Symphony Orchestra continues its 2015-2016 Masterworks Series in March with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6” (Pastoral) and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Oboe Concerto in A minor.”  The concerts will be held on Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 at 3 p.m. at the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

Fatma Daglar will be the soloist for the oboe concerto.  In addition to being the principal oboist of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Daglar is also the principal oboist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Post-Classical Ensemble, and Concert Artists of Baltimore.  She recently joined Zéphyros Winds, a distinguished North American Chamber ensemble.

She has held the position of assistant principal oboist with the Louisville Orchestra and has performed on oboe and English horn with the Baltimore, Richmond, Harrisburg, and Delaware Symphony Orchestras; and, the Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Washington Concert Opera Orchestra, and Britt Festival Orchestra, among many others.  Recent solo engagements include performances of Richard Strauss, John Harbison, Lukas Foss, and Mozart oboe concertos.  She has toured and performed throughout the United States, China, Japan, and the Middle East.  An enthusiastic advocate of historical performance, she studied baroque oboe at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and has appeared with the Washington Bach Consort, Ama Deus Ensemble, Brandywine Baroque, Modern Music, and Bach Sinfonia.

Daglar attended the Robert College of Istanbul and the Istanbul University Conservatory of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music.  She also holds a Master’s Degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Oboe Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Sara Watkins.  She teaches at Towson University, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the Peabody Preparatory.
All ticket holders are encouraged to attend Prelude which takes place one hour before each Masterworks Concert.  MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the guest artists or featured musicians share information on the compositions and their composers that will enhance concert-goers enjoyment and appreciation of the concert.

The Artist Sponsor is Meritus Health.  Student tickets for Masterworks Series performances are generously underwritten by contributions from Music Director Elizabeth Schulze, Susquehanna Bank, The Rotary Club of Hagerstown, and The Rotary Club of Long Meadows Foundation.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.marylandsymphony.org, by phone at 301-797-4000, or in person at the MSO office at 30 W. Washington Street.  Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

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

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/6i93PC
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MSM Chocolate Cupcake Contest…..Is your Cupcake worth $500?

Chocolate Cupcake Contest 2016 - Win $500 for best cupcake!

Contest; Saturday April 23rd @ 1902 Building downtown Martinsburg @ The Chocolate Fest & Book Faire

GUIDELINES:

CUPCAKES: Please bring two dozen cupcakes. All cupcakes will be judged. Cupcakes must be in standard cupcake liners.  All cupcakes must contain chocolate with anything else you want to add. Participants may submit multiple entries and there are no age restrictions.  Cupcakes entered in the contest become property of Main Street Martinsburg.

PRESENTATION: Please bring a small index card stating the type of your cupcake. Please put your name on the card.  This is considered part of your presentation.  Fun names tend to capture the imagination of the tasters/judges.  Props are permitted to help tell your cupcakes’ story; however, you must fit props and cupcakes in a two foot space. Any indecent matter will not be allowed and will be disqualified.

RECIPE: You may scratch bake or doctor up a box mix prior to baking (example: adding canned pumpkin to a vanilla box mix). You are required to submit a list of ingredients at check-in. Nuts are permitted; please be sure to accurately label cupcakes containing nuts or nut derivatives. All recipes, once they are submitted, become property of Main Street Martinsburg.

CHECK-IN: Saturday, April 23rd with Cupcakes @ The 1902 Building on the corner of Martin Street & Queen Street in downtown Martinsburg. Contestants must arrive between 8 am & 10 am to set up prior to the tasting start time. Please check-in when you arrive. You are not required to stay with your cupcakes during the event.

VOTING PROCEDURE:  Each cupcake will be evaluated by all judges.  Judge’s ballots will be collected and tabulated to determine the First Place winner and Most Creative prize winner. Winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. the day of the event. You must have a registration form on file to be judged. All entries need to be in by April 18, 2016.

Application Fee: $10.00 per entry. (Application is attached to this email). This price gets you into the chocolate walk. You are not required to stay with your cupcakes during the event. However, if you wish to sample chocolates on the Chocolate Walk and view the Cupcake Contest, you must have a wrist band.

JUDGING IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: TASTE OVERALL TEXTURE, OVERALL APPEARANCE AND OVERALL CREATIVITY

PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED TO THE BEST ENTRIES THAT MEET CONTEST CRITERIA: FIRST PLACE- $500.00 SECOND PLACE- (Most Creative) $150.00

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/8EcGdh
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Berkeley Arts Council Announces Dance Works Scholarship Winners

The Berkeley Art Council is pleased to announce the winners for this year’s Dance Works 2016 event.

Held at Musselman High School on Feb. 26 and 27,  over 120 dancers participated in Dance Education classes and a well-attended gala performance on Saturday night. 

The Scholarship awardees were selected by a panel of master dance instructors who, observed and selected the students who excelled during the class program. 

The Berkeley Art Council awarded 4 tuition waivers for next year’s program, one for a dancer at each level of Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced-intermediate and advanced.  The dancers ranged in age from 10 to 18 years.  This year’s waiver winners were- - Jacki Power, Dance Dimensions, -Arianna Pittinger, Inwood performing Arts,  Emily Thompson, Synergy Dance Team, Washington County High and Genevieve Rochefort, Inwood Performing Arts. 

The WVU and Radford University Dance Departments also presented scholarships for their Summer Dance Camps at the Dance Works event.  The scholarship winners for WVU submitted a 1 page essay about “What Winning a WVU Dance Camp Scholarship Would Mean to Me?” and auditioned for the scholarship award.  Winners were selected by the professors of WVU and Radford University’s Dance Departments. 
The winner of the WVU Summer Dance Camp Scholarship is Rachael Avey, of Turning Pointe Studio.  Runner up for the WVU Summer Dance Camp is Arianna Pittinger, of Inwood Performing Arts.

The partial scholarship to the two week Radford University Summer Intensive, is Beka Avey from Turning Point Dance Company.

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: L-R- Jane Horst, Dance Works 2016 Coordinator, Arianna Pittinger, Emily Thompson, Tuition waiver winners for 2017. Rachael Avey, WVU Summer Dance Camp Scholarship, and Beka Avey, Radford University Summer Dance Intensive, Scholarship winner, and G
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Potomac River Artists Guild Exhibit, “Visions of a Group”

The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. opens “Visions of a Group” a show that will feature the artwork of the Potomac River Artists Guild.

The “Guild” will have a month long show at the Washington County Arts Council (WCAC) gallery at 34 S. Potomac Street in Hagerstown, MD March 4-29, 2016.  Entitled “Visions of a Group”, the exhibit will feature the art of the Guild’s regional artists in various subject matters, mediums and styles.  An opening reception will be held at the gallery from 5-7 pm on Friday, March 4, 2016.

History of the Potomac River Artists Guild:
The members of the Potomac River Artist Group (PRAG) explore many avenues of artistic expression on paper, from realism to abstracts. Our show is a collection of the diverse talent and the variety of expressions reflects the talent and continued growth and progression of this dedicated artist’s group. The collection of works promises to have something for everyone.

PRAG was founded in 2000.  The purpose of the group is to support emerging artists, display their artistic creations for the public and foster members’ art knowledge through educational experiences and sharing of art information among members.

The first public show was held at the Old Opera House in Charles Town. Each December since then, members have displayed art there!  The group also holds two shows a year at the War Memorial Building in Shepherdstown.

Today’s PRAG is a diverse group of talented artists.  Members range from founding artists to today’s emerging painters.  The art training of members ranges from self-taught to Bachelor’s Degrees in art.  Creations range from abstraction to realism to renditions similar to the Old Masters.  The variety of artistic expressions is a treat for any show visitor.

The Washington County Arts Council Gallery is located at 34 South Potomac Street, off Artist Alley in the heart of the Hagerstown Arts & Entertainment District.

For additional information contact gallery manager, Chris Brewer at 301-791-3132 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Maryland Heights Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection

A pair of Peregrine falcons is attempting to nest on the cliff face of Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Park and US Fish and Wildlife staff have observed the falcons building what appears to be a nest on the cliff face.

To protect the nesting birds from inadvertent disturbance or harassment, areas in and around the cliff face of Maryland Heights will be closed effective March 1. The areas will be closed to all visitor use, including climbing activities, along the cliff face area. The climbing areas affected by the closure include all the routes in the Gully, Sign Wall and ABC Ramps sections. The Overlook Trail on Maryland Heights will remain open, but the areas at the lower reaches of the Overlook site on Maryland Heights that provides access to the upper cliff regions is closed. These areas will remain closed until approximately five weeks after the chicks take their first flights, or fledge, from their nests. The re-opening of these areas is expected around mid-August. The climbing routes in the areas of the Union Wall, Train Tunnel Wall and Confederate Walls will remain open at this time. Information on the closed area will be posted at the Park Information Center, Visitor Center, park website and social media sites.

In 2000, the park attempted a reintroduction program of peregrine falcons to Maryland Heights. While peregrines were introduced back into the area, there were no documented cases of those falcons coming back to the Maryland Heights for nesting. Last year was the first times peregrines have been seen attempting to use the Maryland Heights cliff face for nesting since that program ended. Although no fledglings were produced last year, the fact that the falcons remained and are attempting to nest this year is very hopeful.

The park will announce the reopening of the closed areas upon determining that the fledglings from this year have become independent of their parents and human activities will not harm or disrupt their further development. For more information call (304) 535-6224.


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West Virginia Libertarians Extend Welcome to “Liberty-Minded” Republicans in Light of Trump

Press release received from WV Libertarian Party

“If liberty-minded Republicans – favoring individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited government – are disheartened by the direction of the Republican Party in the wake of the lead Donald Trump holds in the primaries and caucuses thus far,” said Michael Wilson, Chair of the Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV), “the Libertarian Party extends to them a warm welcome to a new home.”

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in West Virginia growing steadily every month in voter registration, Wilson pointed out. “Libertarians often start their journey into our party from the older, established parties,” he explained. “We have former Democrats, Republicans, and independents throughout our ranks, from Tea Party ‘Constitutionalists,’ gun rights fans, and religious conservatives, to free speech purists, ‘Drug War’ opponents, and ‘pierced, tattooed, and alternative lifestyles’ adherents.”

What Libertarians have in common is their politics: “We believe in leaving everyone alone to live their own lives so long as they respect the natural rights of everyone else,” he emphasized.

Wilson forecast that the LPWV will run the largest slate of candidates in 2016 that it has ever put forth and give voters in every precinct in every county a genuine choice to reform runaway Big Government.

“The GOP Presidential contest continues to degenerate into an ugly specter of name-calling and mean-spiritedness. Perhaps this is America’s ‘winter of discontent,’ but for those citizens observing a season of inward reflection and fasting or perhaps anticipating a ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ of joy and a “rising road’ for all, the divisiveness of Mr. Trump’s foul-mouthed and jingoistic campaign must be horribly dispiriting,” Wilson observed.

“We Libertarians in West Virginia stand ready to offer the newly ‘politically homeless’ a springtime respite. There’s room in our tent for all those Republicans dismayed by the Trump boom.”


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Berkeley Arts Council and Berkeley County Libraries Offer Free Saturday Art Experiences

Berkeley Arts Council and Berkeley County Libraries
Offer Free Saturday Art Experiences
What Will YOU Create?

This spring, Saturday elementary school and preschool visitors to the four libraries in Berkeley County will have opportunities to play the ukulele, construct a colorful collage, and paint with watercolor pencils. All events are free and open to the public, and take place on a rotating basis in the children’s section of each of the county libraries.

The program, called #MindKraft, is jointly sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Council and the Berkeley County public library system. On Saturdays during March, April, and May, Berkeley Arts Council artists and Berkeley County library staff will offer two parallel creative sessions: one for children now in grades 1-5; another for tots in kindergarten or younger.

“#MindKraft is about an explosion of new art experiences for the youngest citizens of Berkeley County,” said Berkeley Arts Council president and CFO, Malinda Shaver. “We’ve put together a creative program that is sure to delight and inspire each child, and we invite parents to join in the family fun.” 

Planned classes are as follows:

March: #MindKraft Ukulele. String musician Ernie Bradley of Hedgesville, WV, will introduce students to the ukulele and to strumming and singing in an informal back-porch style. An intergenerational jam will take place at the end of the class, with preschoolers singing and playing kazoos, elementary school age students singing and playing ukuleles, and interested parents singing and playing their own C-instruments which they are invited to bring for the jam. The elementary school age class will be limited to 20 children; ukuleles will be provided for use during the class.

The schedule for #MindKraft Ukulele follows: Sat., March 12, 11 am-noon at Martinsburg-Berkeley Library; Sat., March 12, 1-2 pm at Hedgesville Public Library; Sat, March 19, 1-2 pm at Musselman South Berkeley Library in Inwood; and Sat., March 26, 1-2 pm at North Berkeley Public Library in Falling Waters.

April: Epic Colors and Shapes.  Using Matisse as inspiration, artist Hilda Eiber of Falling Waters, WV, will help children experiment with combinations of different colors and different shapes to create something pleasing to the eye. Using this experience, students will make collages out of construction paper to take home. Next, Eiber will lead a group project where everyone cooperates to make a giant collage out of newspaper end rolls. The preschool group will make snail collages.
                                   
The schedule for Epic Colors and Shapes follows: Sat., April 2, 2-1 pm at Martinsburg-Berkeley Library; Sat., April 9, 1-2 pm at Hedgesville Public Library; Sat, April 16, 1-2 pm at Musselman South Berkeley Library in Inwood; and Sat., April 23, 1-2 pm at North Berkeley Public Library in Falling Waters.

May: Kings and Queens for a Day.  At the beginning of each class, mixed media expert Judith Becker from Hedgesville, WV, will give each participant a cardboard crown and a nice piece of watercolor paper on which she has painted the outline of a head with a crown. Using watercolor pencils, students will add features to the outline. Then they will divide the face into sections and in each section draw something they would do if they were king or queen for a day. Finally students will take brushes and, with water, dissolve the pencil markings into watercolor paints. The preschool class will make paper plate dragon puppets.

The schedule for Kings and Queens for a Day follows: Sat., May 7, 1-2 pm at Martinsburg-Berkeley Library; Sat., May 14, 1-2 pm at Hedgesville Public Library; Sat, May 21, 1-2 pm at Musselman South Berkeley Library in Inwood; and Sat., May 28, 1-2 pm at North Berkeley Public Library in Falling Waters.

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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The South Jefferson Public Library presents the art of Claire Mason beginning Tuesday, March 1

The South Jefferson Public Library is pleased to present the art of Claire Mason (no relation to the sender), beginning Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in the Library Meeting Room. We are excited to welcome Miss Mason as the first of our young library patrons to host her own art show at the library. This exhibit is the 64th in the Art in the Library series hosted by the library to highlight the talents of local artists. An reception will be held on Sunday, March 6th, from 2PM to 4PM in the Library Meeting Room, to enable the public to meet this young artist.

Claire Mason is a 14 year old home schooled student of Charles Town, WV. She has always loved animals and began drawing horses as soon as she could hold a crayon. Claire hasn’t had any formal training but has experimented with several different mediums. She finds her true passion shines through the use of graphic arts. She uses the Wacom Cintiq 13hd, Manga Studio 5, and Photoshop CC.

Claire has always enjoyed books and taught herself to read when she was four years old. She also has won the attention of local writers as a budding novelist. Claire and her siblings love their local library and she was thrilled when they asked her to participate in their young artist’s presentation. As a teen she now volunteers at the local branch , among her other jobs of pet/baby sitting, dog walking and training her own horses.

This art show will run from Tuesday, March 1, 2016 through Saturday, April 30, 2106 at the South Jefferson Public Library, located at 49 Church St., Summit Point, WV 25446. Library hours are: M-Th: 10-7; Fri: Closed; Sat: 10-5; Sun: 1-5. For additional information regarding this show, library personnel may be reached at: (304) 725-6227 or by viewing the library website at http://www.sojeffersonlibrary.com.


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Local Farm Shares Available!

Now through March 10, sign up for a 2016 farm share with Rainbow Hill Farm, a certified organic farm located in Charles Town, WV. As a member of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, you’ll receive 20 weeks of fresh local produce at an average cost of just $25/week. We focus on quality and variety, offering unique heirloom varieties that can’t be found in grocery stores, and our weekly deliveries provide the perfect ingredients for easy take-to-work lunches and hassle-free evening meals.

More information and sign up available online at http://www.rainbowhillfarm.com


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Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band on WINLIFE TV Webcast, March 5

Winchester, VA - Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band is scheduled to appear on WINLife TV’s “After Hours with Eric Sandstrom” on Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m. (ET).

The hourlong program will feature two performance sets and an interview with Stoney Creek. The band is expected to share an update on its forthcoming studio album.

Viewers can watch the show on WINLife TV’s Livestream website (available through a link at WinlifeTV.com or directly at Livestream.com/accounts/13579207). The show will be available for replay after the live broadcast.

Stoney Creek has been named “West Virginia’s Classic Bluegrass Band” by Around the Panhandle magazine, and “mainstream bluegrass at its best” by Bluegrass Unlimited. The band features Libby Files, Brett Smeltzer, Kenton Catlett, and Troy Stangle. The forthcoming album is a follow-up to the band’s 2012 gospel project “Are You Ready?”, and the first to showcase Stoney Creek’s current lineup.

WINLife TV is a new Internet production facility in Winchester, VA, and broadcasts live music, interviews, and hosted shows for Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. WINLife TV streams on the Livestream.com website and app.

Stoney Creek can be followed online at StoneyCreekBluegrass.net and on the band’s Facebook page.

WEBSITES
WinlifeTV.com
Livestream.com/accounts/13579207
StoneyCreekBluegrass.net


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Morgan Co. Commission Considering Raising Ambulance Fee, Paw Paw FVC Emergency Ops to Cease

After much discussion, Morgan County commissioners decided Thursday to schedule a public hearing on whether to raise the ambulance fee.  Morgan County Emergency Medical Services CEO Kevin Duckwall and Morgan County Emergency Services Board President George Didawick presented a PowerPoint budget report on Feb. 18. They were joined by board members and Paw Paw Volunteer Fire and Rescue President Mike McCready.

The fee, currently $75 per each of 9,654 “residential units,” is said to provide the staff, equipment, training and certifications for Morgan County EMS Co. 7 to have one full-time 24/7 unit and one unit 12 hours per day. They provide “advanced life support” (ALS).  Ninety percent of the ambulance fee revenues goes to Morgan County EMS Co. 7. Paw Paw Vol. Fire and Rescue receives ten percent.

The reason presented to commissioners for an increase would be to provide more service to the Paw Paw area and the county overall. McCready told commissioners there was a lack of volunteers and funding, and that the way the current ordinance is written doesn’t make the services the same for everyone.

“We should have a 24/7 staff,” said McCready. “We should have the same service.”

The reason presented to commissioners for an increase would be to provide more service to the Paw Paw area and the county overall.

Paw Paw Volunteer Fire and Rescue is an all-volunteer organization with four EMTs who provide “basic life support” (BLS). One is a preacher who isn’t available on Sundays.  The other three have regular jobs outside the county which reduces their availability to respond to calls.

As of June 30, they will cease to provide service 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.

Commissioner Bob Ford said an increase is necessary.  “We have kicked the can down the road long enough,” he said. “When the previous commission set the ambulance fee in 2007, they were told then $125 was necessary to provide adequate service. It was set at $75.”

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.  Morgan Co. EMS Co. 7 had an average response time as of Dec. 2015 of 12.02 minutes.

The EMS board published a request for proposal (RFP) in December to provide EMS to the entire county. The goal was to keep one unit 24/7 and one unit 12 hours per day as it stands now, and add one unit nearer to Paw Paw. The only two agencies who submitted proposals were Co. 7 and Valley Medical Transport. This RFP required an ambulance on scene within 17 minutes, 90 percent of the time. The board rejected those proposals but came up with various options to present to commissioners.

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.

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.

Option two was Didawick and Duckwalls’s best option. That would increase the ambulance fee to $160 per residential unit.  Duckwall said it would provide the two current ALS units for most of the county, and one ALS unit for western portions of the county full-time. 

He said, “Option two would facilitate EMS in Morgan County for some time into the future. It would allow a more even level of care and service delivery to the citizens and visitors. It would support typically 3 ALS units to the county 24/7/365.”

Option three would remove one unit from Berkeley Springs area and relocate it to Paw Paw. That fee was projected to be $111 per residence.

Duckwall said, “Option three isn’t good at all. The central area (with more ‘second due’ calls than the call volume in the entire western portion of the county) would suffer with a severe decrease in unit availability/service delivery. That area has more ‘second due’ calls than the call volume in the entire western portion of the county.”

Second due calls are calls for the same emergency that come in a second time because there was no unit available on the first call.

The fourth option would raise the fee to $116. It would keep two units in the central and eastern portions of the county as now, and place a provider in a non-transport quick response vehicle in the western area of the county.

“The quick response tech could respond, assess and initiate treatment until the transport unit arrived from Co. 7 in Berkeley Springs,” said Duckwall. This option presents many logistical challenges far above the financial challenges.” 


Commissioners Brad Close and Joel Tuttle said they want the entire county to be covered with the necessary services, but weren’t thrilled with the fee increases for options presented.

Charging business and nursing homes an ambulance fee was discussed. So far, only residential units are charged.

Duckwall said, “That has been discussed for years, actually since inception of the fee back in 2007. It was at best a logistical nightmare to get it up and functional. A major concern has been all of the home businesses who are already paying the fee. We never wanted to double or triple fee someone. That has been a major concern. All of the other counties who charge the fee have struggled with this area of the ordinance.”

Tuttle said, “What’s our deadline to make a decision, with Paw Paw stopping their coverage on June 30? I’m not personally ready to accept a motion today to increase the fee to $160 from $75 to keep the same units here and have one in Paw Paw. If Paw Paw Fire and

Rescue ceases, that ten percent of the fees collected now they get will come back to Morgan County EMS.”

He wanted to examine the data on Morgan Co. EMS and Paw Paw’s mutual aid responses to other jurisdictions, and how often those other areas helped Morgan County.  He was also in favor of exploring the charge to businesses, as long as home-based businesses were only charged once.

A few audience members expressed their concerns on the projected amount of the increase, which could more than double it. County poverty statistics have been high the last few years. They strongly recommended the commission charge businesses and other residential living agencies a fee.

Duckwall said some personnel are part-time. To add the unit and keep the same units in service now, they would need to double the staff.

Didawick added, “The board has no assets, no income other than the fee or donations. We can work with Morgan County EMS, or Paw Paw, or both and will squeeze the numbers if we can on the fee.”

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. Duckwall said the numbers presented by Co. 7 in the RFP were bare bones. There was nothing else to cut other than staffing of units.

Commissioners reluctantly voted to set the date for two public hearings, to be announced. At the end of the second hearing, commissioners will vote on any increase.

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