by Tamara Pettit

…..Students return to the classroom August 30, but football makes its debut August 28.  Deprived of  a regular football season last year, coaches, players and fans are eager to begin the season.  The big question for Oak Glen, however, has been “where” will the season opener with Weir High will be played since Oak Glen’s artificial turf has yet to be installed.   Head Coach Ted Arneault announced Friday that the game will be played August 28 at Brooke High.  The suggestion was made that the game be played at Weir High’s stadium since the turf was installed at Weir High first.  That begs the question “why Weir High first?” since Oak Glen had the home field for the game.

…..It’s a bummer for Oak Glen.  Having such a rivalry played  at the home field is not only good for the team and the fans, it’s a financial boon for the football program and boosters with gate and concession receipts.   While we all know that there are delays in material throughout the nation, one wonders why Oak Glen’s turf was delayed and if there was a “deliver by” date in the contract and a penalty if the due date is not met?  There is a lot of grumbling and speculation about the turf situation and some questions have been asked that merit answers.  Not sure what kind of turf is being put down, but I’m curious as to who came up with the bid specs.   Did the coaches and athletic directors have input into what type of turf?  How and where was the project bid? Who made the decision as to which bid to accept?  Both projects total almost $1 million so they would be over the threshold for bidding?  I’ve posed those questions and am awaiting a response. 

……One of the simmering issues for the Board of Education is also whether or not a new baseball field will be built at Weir High School.   Former Senator Ed Bowman made a compelling argument for the school’s baseball team to continue to use the Bowman Field located behind the Millsop Community Center.  Board President Danny Kaser was quick to point out that no decisions had been made on that issue.

…..This is the first year for a back pack give-a-way by the Sheriff’s Office.   I applaud Sheriff Scott Gittings for the initiative.  I think two very good results are achieved by the effort.  First:  students are able to get the necessary school supplies and no child needs to go without; Second:  students see the law enforcement officers in a positive light.  You just have to take a look at the photo with Chief Deputy Scott Murray high fiving a young boy to appreciate that impact. 

…..Looks like the 1st District will have a new Senator in the near future.  Sen. William Ihlenfeld (D-1st) has once again been appointed as a Federal Attorney.   Those appointments are presidential and are historically contingent upon the political affiliation of the President.  Ihlenfeld was appointed during the Obama administration and left the position during the Trump administration.   Now that a Democrat is in office again, he has been re-appointed to the post. 

……Ihlenfeld will need U S Senate approval prior to assuming his new position,  but his upcoming resignation will pave the way for another Democrat to be appointed.   What’s the process?   First of all, since the seated Senator is from Brooke County, (Ryan Weld)  the new Senator must be from Hancock or Ohio County.   A 1st District Senatorial Selection Committee is in place for both Democrat and Republican parties and consists of two women and two men.   Since Ihlenfeld is a Democrat, his successor must be a Democrat.   The Democratic Senatorial Committee will receive resumes and letters of interests from those seeking to fill the seat and from those candidates the names of the top three candidates will be sent to Gov. Jim Justice  I would assume former Delegate and recent Senatorial Candidate Randy Swartzmiller will throw his hat into the ring and Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons from Ohio County may be a possibility.   

…  Justice will make the final selection.  This is where all bets are off.  The candidate who gets the most votes with the Senatorial Selection Committee is not necessarily the candidate selected by the Governor.   Case in point:  This is the way I arrived at the Legislature.  Then 1st District Delegate Patty Mastrantoni Bradley  resigned as a part of a plea deal.   She had been indited for having a trip paid for by a dog track lobbyist after serving on the conference committee on dog track legislation.  Here’s the kicker.  She didn’t report the “gift” on her Federal Income Tax and thus ended up with Federal charges.  The same process in selecting her replacement took place and those submitting their names were Former Sheriff Joe Manypenny and Frank Rocchio; Steve Kourpas mine.   The three top vote getters in the committee were Manypenny, Rocchio and me.  Manypenny, a long-time political power, got more votes than me, but then Governor Gaston Caperton picked me.   I had been an active volunteer in his campaign and called upon everyone I knew to make a phone call on my behalf. 

……All of our subscribers will now receive an e-mail reminding them when HOMETOWN NEWS has been posted on our web site.  I’m so proud of myself for figuring out Mailchimp with help from our consultant and not waiting for Shannon to do it.  As we get more sophisticated (I’m feeling pretty sophisticated right now) photos will be included along with a direct link to the newspaper.

…..A final thought:  I think mothers and daughters have different conversations than do fathers and sons or mothers and  sons for that matter.   After conquering Mailchimp I went up to my closet and saw where the drawer I keep my jeans in wouldn’t close all the way.  Upon closer investigation, I saw it was because something was stuck behind it.   As I stuck my arm back to retrieve it, I discovered my arm was stuck and I couldn’t get it out.  I pondered by options.  Bill was at Bethany for the afternoon.  Calling 911 was overkill.   Calling Shannon was the only feasible option other than cutting off the arm at the elbow.  After 15 minutes the drawer released when I pried open the drawer above it.

……I felt jubilant and smart so I just had to text her “Great afternoon!!  I figured out Mailchimp all by myself.  I also got my arm out of the jean’s drawer where it was stuck without having to call you.”

…..Had I sent that to my son, he would have replied “Mom, what the heck are you doing?”   But, my daughter simply replied, “Cool.”