• Year in Review 2014 •

• Year in Review 2014 •

• January: Year begins with annual Shanghai Parade held Jan. 1 in downtown Lewisburg; GWHS football coach Lewis McClung named Coach of the Year following Cavaliers’ 12-2 record and a berth in Class A state title game; sub zero temps hit area Jan. 6 – record lows recorded; on western side of state, water emergency declared Jan. 8 in nine counties after chemical spill in Charleston – approximately 300,000 customers of West Virginia American Water Company unable to use their tap water; Alderson Main Street opens waiting room for train passengers at the Alderson C&O Depot; Greenbrier River Watershed Association and Greenbrier Land Conservation Trust receive grant funding from the WV Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund to help protect land across from a portion of Spice Run Wilderness Area in Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties; Lewis Theatre acquires new digital projector; Ronceverte City Council approves new sewer rates and regulations; Mayor John Manchester signs proclamation declaring Jan. 13-20 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week in Lewisburg; Monroe County furniture maker Mark Soukup commissioned to make 32 Windsor chairs for display and use at Washington’s Mount Vernon; Ronceverte asks for input on new comprehensive plan; Lewisburg announces multi-million dollar plan to move water intake valve to a location upstream from local landfill; Irish Pub makes list on Southern Living’s Top 100 Bars in the South; jury rules Antonio Dewayne Smith guilty of involuntary manslaughter in death of Ira Lindberg Harris; Tom Bulla receives Community Service Award;

• February: Alderson competes to enter “Turn This Town Around” contest; Greenbrier RNs challenge CHS/HMA priorities – campaign for patient safety; Greenbrier Historical Society receives $15,500 in grants to restore the Barracks, update North House Museum lighting and fence and restoration of the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion; bomb threat made at WGHS – juvenile arrested; Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin releases names of 11 applicants for Greenbrier County judgeship; Cinema multiplex gets green light for construction in Gateway Commons; Grand jury indicts local physician Leslie Abigail Winters in a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient; County Board of Education approves 2013-2014 School Calendar adjustment for snow days; criminal charges filed on Joseph William Boswell III of Ronceverte for alledged swindling of an elderly couple; two fires make the news – one in Monroe County at the Valley Vet Clinic and a house fire in Maxwelton;

• March: On the world scene, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappears on Mar. 8 and is never located; “UnCanny” presentation wins Entrepreneur Cafe money for Meredith Young jewelry; western end of county is focus of new MTA bus route; Greenbrier County receives $33,120 in grant funds from Gov. Tomblin for records management and preservation, Ronceverte brick paver study and Greenbrier County survey to identify historic properties; Greenbrier County CVB awards funding to 13 local organizations for tourism marketing – Alderson 4th of July Committee, Alderson Quilters & Crafters, Carnegie Hall, Friends of the WSS National Fish Hatchery, Greenbrier Group to fight Pancreatic Cancer, Greenbrier Historical Society, Greenbrier Valley Bicycle Club, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Lewisburg Downtown Business Association, Lewisburg House & Garden Tour, Lewisburg Literary Group, Ronceverte River Festival and the State Fair of West Virginia; Prosecutor withdraws from case causing interpleader hearing in pool case to be delayed; Lewisburg residents Cathey Sawyer, Susan Adkins and Ron Miller honored at Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony; Greenbrier County Commission approves 2014-2015 fiscal budget by vote of 2-1; John Francis winner of raffle for Blumenstein sculpture created to raise funds for new bike rack in front of CVB building;

• April: Greenbrier Classic announces upcoming Maroon 5 and Jimmy Buffet concert; delegates forum held at GVT moderated by WRON; annual Chocolate Festival held in downtown Lewisburg Apr. 11 and 12; Ronceverte proclaims April Child Abuse Awareness Month; Lewisburg announces application to compete in America In Bloom campaign; Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity opens new ReStore in WSS; White Sulphur Springs Police Chief Bill Wallcoen retires – WSS city council selects John Pauley as successor; Mayor Manchester signs Children’s Memorial Flag Day Proclamation; Greenbrier Valley Grown promotes branding of food produced locally; Judge James J. Rowe named WV Bar Foundation Fellow; Joshua Matthew Wade of Frankford arrested for attempted use of stolen credit card; human remains found near White Sulphur Springs abandoned dump site;

• May: Dr. L. Marshall Washington, president of NRCTC, elected to board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges; Meadow River Spring Festival held in Rainelle; Lewisburg seeks inclusion in Municipal Home Rule Program; memorial service at WVSOM honors Human Gift Registry donors; Frankford students win WV State Social Studies Fair in Charleston; low turnout in Greenbrier County reported for primary election; sidewalk replacement project begins at Visitors Center; Alderson town council approved amendments to the Alderson Business License Ordinance; Attorney General Patrick Morrisey files complaint against Monroe County funeral home, Broyles-McGuire for allegedly violating the state’s Preneed Act and Consumer Credit and Protection Act; Chuck Hughes, host of the Cooking Channel’s “Chuck Eats the Street” films program on Washington Street; Greenbrier Classic announces 2013 Volunteer of the Year – Jim Strawn of Charleston; former White Sulphur Springs mail carrier Jack Edwin McCoy admits to distributing drugs on the job; Run For The Wall arrival ceremony held May 22 in Rainelle; local CPA Jeffrey E. Lewis charged with misappropriation of Dawkins trust funds; four Greenbrier County residents – Tiffany Rose Arbogast, Chistopher Miller, Joshua Osborne and Amanda Nicole Canaday – indicted by federal grand jury in connection with heroin trafficking; Dandelion Festival held in White Sulphur Springs May 23-26; White Sulphur Springs Rotary/Fish Hatchery Fishing Derby held May 24; Lewisburg attorney Robert E. Richardson appointed by Gov. Tomblin to replace retiring Judge Joseph Pomponio;

• June: Greenbrier County VA outpatient clinic closed due to complaints of dizziness and headaches by clinic employees; Ronceverte Community Garden holds grand opening; The Greenbrier releases schedule for New Orleans Saints 2014 training camp; Lisa Carol Ayers receives a sentence of one to ten years in relation to her conviction via plea agreement involving her embezzlement of more than $60,000 from the Greenbrier County Commission on Aging; DOH combines two grants to complete Ronceverte streetscrape project; meth lab discovered in Fairlea at the Fair Oaks Trailer Park when fire department responded to a report of a fire in an outbuilding; misdemeanor charges filed against former commissioner Betty Crookshanks and current commissioner Karen Lobban, both accused of misappropriation of hotel occupancy tax funds; citizens of Grassy Meadows area form a neighborhood watch program; Lewisburg Home & Garden Tour held June 14; judges from America in Bloom visit Lewisburg; Ronceverte’s waste water plant project stalled awaiting judge’s ruling following PSC hearing; Open Doors helps fund scholarship at Greenbrier Episcopal School; Alderson installs three concrete lions in recognition of being the only town in the U.S. with an ordinance that requires all lions in town to be on a leash – dating to 1890 when a local woman rescued a cub named “French” from a travelling circus; Greenbrier Valley Grown introduces rack card with names and contact information of restaurants, retail stores and farmers’ markets that are certified Greenbrier Valley Grown; construction begins in Green Space to install platform and electricity for local musicians; Seneca Health Services announces state of the art drug crisis center in Maxwelton;

• July: Judge Robert E. Richardson sworn in to serve 11th Judicial Circuit Court; Raleigh County judge’s ruling discharges New River CTC Foundation from liability in pool case – grants the motion to deposit contested funds with the Court; judge approves Ronceverte’s new sewage system; sting operation recovers three-quarters of a quantity of tools stolen from a construction site in White Sulphur Springs – arrested were Josh Bostic, Ricky Duggan and Olivia Goslyn – all charged with grand larceny; David Ray Bradley, local health care provider, sentenced for sexual assault; Greenbrier County Planning Commission holds public hearing for input on comprehensive plan; first ever Music Festival held in Lewisburg; Ben James Hunt arrested for vandalism at Stella’s Restaurant; quick response by cleanup crews contains diesel spill in Greenbrier River at Bartow when a tanker truck overturned spilling approximately 7,800 gallons; Rail Trail construction begins along Meadow River; AdvoCare Sports Center at The Greenbrier hosts heavily attended “Picnic with the Saints”; western end water study requests $50,000 funding for project to extend water service from Charmco to the I-64 interchange at Sam Black Church;

• August: Morgan Murphy, Southern Living food critic visits Lewisburg to film episode of “Off the Eaten Path”; continuing the “lion” theme, Alderson installs a quilt square featuring a lion on the front corner of the Renaissance Building; study approved for Island Park Restoration Project in Ronceverte; 90th State Fair opens in Fairlea; alleged embezzler, Alisha Ann Williams turns herself in to authorities after Radio Greenbrier reports she wrote checks to herself totaling $50,000; Jeffrey S. Walton sentenced for abusive sexual contact with a female federal inmate and Adam Ray Smith sentenced for distribution of heroin; Greenbrier Valley Conservation District seeks resolution with White Sulphur Springs to rebuild Howard Creek stream bank; WVU Extension Service offers fall Master Gardener classes at the WVU Building on the fairgrounds; WV Supreme Court of Appeals Administration Office decides not to renew funding for the Greenbrier County Juvenile Drug Court that provided services targeting at-risk youth and recidivism of substance abuse by young people; WVSOM alumnus Andrew Naymick, D.O., FACOOG, presents keynote speech at White Coat Ceremony; State Fair announces plans for tunnel beneath Rt. 219 to replace foot bridge in use since 1975; GVMC one of four hospitals targeted in cyber attack – hackers take information of more than 4 million patients from computer network; Sarver Heritage Farm becomes the only American Grassfed Association certified beef producer in WV; Judge Pomponio denies motion to dismiss misdemeanor charges against Karen Lobban indicted for alleged misappropriation of $1.3 million in hotel-motel tax for a swimming pool project on the campus of New River CTC; county commission votes to reject proposed comprehensive plan at hearing held Aug. 26 at the courthouse – schedule a special meeting in September to discuss and review plan; Ecofest 2014 event held at The Spring offering free workshops with information in regards to fracking;

• September: Reception held to recognize 100th birthday of Alderson Memorial Bridge; Greenbrier county commission and planning commission reach agreement on comprehensive plan; TEDxLewisburg brings “The Future … Not What It Used To Be” presentation to GVT; 7th Annaul DARE to Cruz Car Show held in downtown Lewisburg; Dominion Resources, Inc. proposes natural gas pipeline through Pocahontas County at Pocahontas County commission meeting; Generation Greenbrier Valley re-launched with addition of new members to the Board of Directors; The Greenbrier announces plans for a new state of the art, 2,500 seat tennis stadium on the grounds; bike rack designed and constructed by Mark Blumenstein installed in front of Visitors Center; WV Veterans Mobile Wall exhibited at The Seasons; Community Foundation awards grants for education; case against Karen Lobban is dismissed, trial cancelled; Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce hosts candidate forums at GVT showcasing candidates for the county commission as well as the House of Delegates and the State Senate; new emergency service approved in Lewisburg with Utility Service Partners to provide residents with contracted guaranteed service in the event of a plumbing emergency; Alderson Police Department is honored at a town meeting; large section of the 16.7 mile Meadow River Trail is completed; Greenbrier County VA Clinic reopens after air quality testing and installation of air pressure equalization units by the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, owners of the building; The Greenbrier Classic announces results of first Volunteer Charitable Initiative Campaign allocating 10 percent of each volunteer registration fee amongst three charities – Center in the Square, Mountaineer Autism Project and National Multiple Sclerosis Society Blue Ridge Chapter; Karen Lobban announces write-in candidacy for re-election to county commission; owners Downstream Strategies and Presido Studios announce plans for energy makeover in historic 1898 First National Bank building in Alderson; Greenbrier County Health Department reports rabies infections in the county in dramatic decline;

• October: Main Street Ronceverte honors award recipients Sherry McCormick-Hawkins, Board Member of the Year; Betty Ralston, Volunteer of the Year, Lacey and Nancy Thomas representing Ronceverte Feed Store as Business of the Year and Sonny Zimmerman, City Official of the Year; Prodigy Foundation awards its WV School Teacher of the Year to Elizabeth Hunter; Carnegie Hall receives Star of Industry award at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism; Joshua Neal Hubbard of Peterstown found guilty of murder and conspiracy for killing Danny Ray Richardson – Richardson’s wife Amber Richardson was sentenced to life in prison; Ronceverte city council adopts a 10-year comprehensive plan; Lewisburg loses Home Rule bid in WV Home Rule Pilot Program; Greenbrier Episcopal School debuts new interactive playground; human remains found near White Sulphur Springs in April are identified as Richard Fowler, Jr. of Port Leyden, NY; Julian’s restaurant on Lafayette Street torn down; local photographer Connie Manchester wins national photo contest; White Sulphur Springs city council considers bringing Rolling Thunder to White Sulphur Springs instead of staying in Rainelle; Gov. Tomblin announces his backing of Attorney General Morrisey’s decision to no longer enforce the state’s same sex marriage ban allowing same sex couples to apply for marriage licenses – Lee and Mark Gillespie of White Sulphur Springs are first couple to be married; Mayor Pendleton of Rainelle seeks funds from county commission to help with dredging and cleaning Sewell Creek stream bed for the purpose of flood control; the community mourns passing of longtime GEHS basketball coach and Athletic Director Jerry Bradley; production company plans documentary on life in the Quiet Zone around the radio telescopes at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank and the US Navy Information Operations Center in Sugar Grove; Ebola fears grip the country; early voting begins at the courthouse; Lewisburg receives special recognition in America in Bloom awards program;

• November: Judge grant’s Greenbrier County commission motion to return $1 million in hotel tax occupancy funds; WV Dept. of Highways reports they are prepared to treat winter road conditions; Alderson adopts an animal rescue service formed by Police Chief Jeremy Bennett; New River CTC files suit against county commission for money owed for cancelled renovation of the pool in the college’s Arts and Sciences building; former Greenbrier Executive Chef Peter Timmons found dead in his apartment in Florida; Lewisburg – Fairlea Food Locker asks for help as demand for food rises; numerous Veterans’ Day dinners offered and flags placed in local cemeteries to honor deceased veterans; small plane crashes after take off at Greenbrier Valley Airport, pilot survives and is airlifted to a Roanoke hospital – it was only the second accident in 21 years; Rainelle’s creeks cleared of over-grown brush and willow trees in an effort to control flooding; The Greenbrier announces 4th annual “Dream Tree for Kids” campaign; Lewisburg hosts annual Lewisburg Open House; Rainelle Mayor Pendleton refutes rumors she asked bikers to pay to camp in Rainelle during annual Run For the Wall – says that rumor has been around since the previous mayor was in office; Highland County (VA) scientist leads local effort to prevent construction of a large-diameter natural gas pipeline through national forests in West Virginia and Virginia; Christmas Homes Tour held in Alderson; Greenbrier Valley Restoration Project updates plans for Montwell Park saying site will focus on health, community events and sustainability including a current fitness program and a new restaurant in the spring; Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) association contacts legislators in Charleston seeking to have West Virginia become the 29th state to legally recognize the CPM and create a state registry and licensure;

• December: The Greenbrier River Watershed Association hosts a meeting in Green Bank to offer information on landowner’s rights in the face of proposed large-diameter pipeline project in area; Rainelle awarded Work Sign Package to improve work zone safety; State Addressing and Mapping (911 addressing system) selects Alderson for its test run of the new addressing plan; Carnegie Hall reports approximately 20 percent of the outside bricks are in need of repair and announce a “Fix the Bricks” campaign to raise needed funds; an indoor farmers market opens December through March on the fairgrounds in the Gus Douglass Annex building; Ronceverte city council reports bidding on construction of the new sewer plant will open Dec. 18; Lewisburg Lions Club sells Christmas trees in an annual effort to support local nonprofits; WV Land Trust enters into agreement permanently protecting historic Spring Valley Farm, more than 600 acres near Second Creek owned by the Dickson family since it was settled nearly 250 years ago; Alderson Police Department benefits from CPP (Community Participation Program) grant for the purchase of a new vehicle; Greenwork’s Recycling is awarded funds through the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Grant program to purchase a mid-size pickup truck for their recycling operation; Meike Schleiff updates readers on the G.R.O.W. Project in Haiti which came into being following the 2010 earthquake in that region; annual Christmas Stocking distribution held in Ronceverte – an event that has continued for over 80 years.

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers

 

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