……Thank you to each and every veteran without whom our nation would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we have. While we may or may not agree with the election results, the reality is we would not have the privilege of having a say in who leads us had veterans not left their homes and loved ones to serve in the Armed Forces. And, the freedom to speak out on the election process? We can thank our veterans for that opportunity as well.
……Hancock County General Election results were certified November 10.
….. Sen. Joe Manchin remains the sole elected Democrat official to hold statewide office in West Virginia. The Republican sweep of Statewide offices also included our Congressional Delegation, David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller. Republican Senator Shelly Moore Capito easily won re-election to West Virginia’s other seat. When the 2020 Census is revealed, West Virginia is projected to lose yet another Congressional seat, bringing our number of congressmen down to two. Hard to believe that at one time we had six members of Congress There are those of us who used to debate if Joe Manchin truly was a Democrat. His conservative leanings and voting record in the West Virginia Senate used to convince us otherwise.
…..There appears to be black smoke coming out of the Sammis stacks. Thanks to George Hines who snapped a photo of the smoke for us. I’ve put a call into Region 6 of the Environmental Protection Agency to see if they can provide me with an explanation as to whether the plant is permitted to blow its stacks at certain intervals or if the plant is violating air quality standards.
…..WOW!! That was my first reaction when I watch televised reports of Weirton City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo berating Weirton City Council on its lack of action on creating a Weirton Convention & Visitors Bureau. I know Weirton’s charter calls for a strong city manager form of government, but DiBartolomeo seems to think that means Council answers to him. He chastised Council for removing action on establishing its own CVB from its agenda Monday night.
….DeBartolomeo takes exception to the fact that the current Top of WV CVB director, Terri Phillips, is a resident of Wheeling noting residents of Weirton applied. What DiBartolomeo doesn’t get is that the Top of West Virginia CVB covers two counties, Hancock and Brooke. The office may be in Weirton, but the service area covers two counties. DiBartolomeo stated in written reports of the meeting that he already has an individual in mind for the director’s job in the new Weirton CVB. He also reports on who will be on the Board. Sounds to me like Dibartolomeo has already bypassed the Weirton CVB Board and selected the director. Important point here: you are dealing with taxpayer funds when you use the Hotel/Motel tax funding and in spending that money you have to abide by Ethics rules and regulations and State code when it comes to hiring.
….In my years of experience in the public sector I’ve always felt that any time you see someone blow up; yell, shout and bully people if he doesn’t get his way……. look for an agenda. No way should the establishment of Weirton’s own CVB evoke this kind of ire.
…..Will Weirton establish its own CVB? DiBartolomeo said the Top of WV CVB financials show $466,274.97 in the bank and half of that is Weirton’s since they contributed 60 percent of the Hotel/Motel Tax into the CVB’s coffers. When Weirton Steel was the State’s largest taxpayer, did Hancock County receive more State funding than any of the other 54 counties…….no because the State is supposed to spend its tax dollars for the good of all, not on the basis of how the funds were paid in.
……DeBartolomeo mentions Mountaineer’s share of the Hotel/Motel tax has been reduced and he expects it to decline. I’m sure Mountaineer’s share has declined because of the COVID, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to increase in the future and isn’t the Convention & Visitors’ mission to help market and publicize the area’s attractions to potential visitors. Mountaineer still ranks as the #1 tourist attraction in the two-county area and I would be interested to see the number of visitors who come to the Casino, Racetrack & Resort on an annual basis and what percentage of them are from out-of-state. Just wondering if Homer Laughlin is #2?
…. Dorothy Swearingen of New Cumberland United Social Service tells me that the outpouring of support for New Cumberland’s Food Closet was great. Not only did the donation of food collected at the Swaney Library exceed that normally collected at the Riverfest, but monetary donations were forthcoming from former residents who learned about the Food Closet’s dilemma in Hometown News. The New Cumberland Lions Club donated $500 and CHANGE, Inc. located $2,500.00 in funding to help out. Like most small towns, we truly do get by with more than a little help from our friends.
…..Shannon has been busy getting the word out about the turkey giveaway by Chaffin Luhana, LLP on November 20, 2 p.m. at Tomlinson Pool Parking Lot. If you know of anyone who is struggling…please let them know.
…..Someone asked me the other day if we still would be publishing our print edition now that we’ve gone digital. Yes, and each of our print subscribers will continue to receive their edition in the mail and our print edition will also continue to be at our retail locations. In fact, you can opt to receive your newspaper in print, digital or both print and digital. You can preview our digital edition at hometownnewswv.com.
……I often wondered what Norman Rockwell would have painted if he portrayed the American family at the upcoming holiday feast today. His famous portrayal was called Freedom from Want. It appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and portrayed the traditional family ready to eat the traditional holiday feast together. Freedom from Want was one of the four Freedoms cited by FDR. The others are Freedom of Worship, Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Fear. We’ve been through a lot in the past year and Thanksgiving won’t look like the Norman Rockwell portrait. The rise in COVID cases in Hancock County is prompting health officials to remind us not to gather in groups beyond the people with whom you live. The old “Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go,” may not apply this year because Grandma is staying safe from COVID by quarantining at home. While we may not gather in person, I think we all will celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for those we love by holding them close in our hearts.