The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 11, 2014

Annual flag-raising ceremony shines light on child abuse: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — Several residents came to the Marion County Courthouse on Thursday to recognize child abuse.

As Marion County Commission President Butch Tennant read a proclamation declaring April 10 Children’s Memorial Day, blue pinwheels spun in the hands of about 50 people and the Children’s Memorial Flag was raised.

“Too many of Marion County’s children have been lost in violent, preventable deaths through guns, fire, automobile accidents, physical violence and suicide,” Tennant said as he read the proclamation.

Kimberly Berry-Baker, executive director of CASA of Marion County, said the Child Welfare League of America designated the pinwheel as the national symbol of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

On Thursday, CASA along with collaborating agencies held the event in remembrance of the thousands of children killed by violent means. Baker said this is the 16th year of the ceremonial flag raising.

“This is absolutely the biggest crowd we’ve had,” she said. “It just shows you how much the people in our community are dedicated to the well-being of our children.”

Every year the flag has been raised, Baker said it shows that the community cares.

“We care about our children,” she said.

The Children’s Memorial Flag depicts six children, five of which are shaded in blue and one in red. Baker said the red child, which is in the middle of the flag, is a symbol of a child who has died from violent means.

“It’s a reminder to all of us that we need to be looking out for all of our kids,” she said.

The flag will remain in front of the courthouse throughout the month of April.

Baker said they incorporated the flag raising with their Child Watch Visitation Tour.

“The tour is where we take Marion County citizens on a tour of the county through the eyes of an abused or neglected child,” she said. “Sometimes it can be a very confusing system.”

One of the stops on the tour was inside the courthouse in a courtroom. Baker said this stop was one of the more emotional ones on the tour.

“Seeing a courtroom and imagining a child there and the judge making a decision — that’s what really hit home for them,” she said.

Marion Circuit Judge Michael Aloi said having people experience what happens to a child when they are put through the system helps the individuals on the tour learn. Aloi said agencies like CASA are important to the process a child has to go through.

As a judge, Aloi deals with cases involving children. He said from his point he needs to know every detail of each case.

“What I think that CASA brings to the table is that a CASA volunteer deals with one child,” Aloi said. “They follow that child from beginning to end, and that’s extremely important because many children don’t have that consistency.”

Aloi said awareness of child abuse and neglect is important because it tells people that violence does occur with children. He said because cases involving child abuse or neglect are mostly confidental, not a lot of people are aware of how many cases there are.

“The public doesn’t know about them, and they shouldn’t know, so in many ways it’s hidden,” Aloi said. “I think it is important that the public does become aware of it in a very general way.”

Baker said she thought Thursday’s tour was successful, and she said even students from Fairmont State University attended this year’s tour.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Fairmont reaching out in new ways

    The city of Fairmont is starting to try to reach out to residents in new ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • Police: Plaintiff threatens trooper, wife and children

    A plaintiff in a four-year-old fraud cause is now being accused of not only threatening a State Police officer, but the lives of his wife and children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Children's Hospital Daycare bake sale reaches 10 times goal for children's hospital

    Children from Sunbeam Early Learning Center visited West Virginia University's Children's Hospital today to make a special delivery.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rescue Squad at DAC.jpg Patches teaches home safety to DAC campers

    Patches and his fire truck “pumper” made a special visit to the Can-Do summer camp.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commission wants to help finish memorial

    The Marion County Commission discussed the need to complete the Korean War Memorial.

    July 23, 2014

  • Statues 1 - MP.jpg Mascot carvings presented to FSU, PC&TC

    Pierpont Community & Technical College and Fairmont State University received special gifts Monday.
    Jason Stoner, an artist from Pennsylvania who specializes in wood carving, among other media, recently visited Fairmont as part of the Three Rivers Festival.
    “This gentleman has been carving professionally for nine years … He travels all around the area,” said Bill Pickrell, who helped make the project a reality.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fairmont Council OKs FCDP application for state grant

    Tuesday, Fairmont City Council authorized the Fairmont Community Development Partnership’s (FCDP) application to the state’s Community Participation Grant program.
    The West Virginia Development Office Community Development Division’s Community Participation grant would provide $25,000 for the FCDP to demolish and redevelop a Fairmont property into low-income affordable housing.

    July 23, 2014

  • Pleasant Valley Council awards park renovation

     The Pleasant Valley town council accepted the bid to renovate a town park.
    The park project was planned by the Thrasher Engineering Group. Thrasher presented seven companies that placed bids on the project along with the costs broken down for how much it would cost to pay for each item involved in the process.

    July 23, 2014

  • FFCU Ground Breaking main -JB .jpg FFCU breaks ground on $9M project

     Fairmont Federal Credit Union is growing and showing its continued commitment to the community.
    On Tuesday morning, the credit union held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Marion County Branch and Corporate Offices, a project that will total $9 million, including the price of the property.

    July 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • Keeping NASA IV&V in Marion County

    NASA is in the process of determining the future of the Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont.
    NASA’s Office of Inspector General recently conducted an audit, from March 2013 through June 2014, to find out if the IV&V Program, located in the I-79 Technology Park, is using its funding appropriately. The report was released July 16.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads