Cheers to Jerry West on receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On Thursday, West was honored in a White House ceremony during which President Donald Trump said West’s honor was “richly deserved.”

West played basketball at West Virginia University before spending 14 seasons playing for the Los Angeles Lakers — being named an All-Star every season — and eventually earned an Olympic gold medal. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974. West then spent three seasons coaching the team before moving to the front office where he signed players such as Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. West also held front-office positions with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors and now works as a consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers.

We applaud this decision by President Trump, and we congratulate West on his well-deserved honor. You represent West Virginia well.

Cheers to Judy McCoy and Theresa Michael on being awarded Bowers Family Trust grants and using the money to benefit students at Blackshere Elementary in Mannington. Michael said she plans to use the $20,000 she was awarded to build a pre-school playground in front of the building, and McCoy will use the $10,000 she was awarded by the grant to continue the Born Learning Academy program, which prepares children from birth to five years of age for entry into kindergarten.

Both teacher-led initiatives are essential to improving education, and we applaud them on putting their grant money to good use.

Cheers to the United Way of Marion and Taylor counties on hiring Emily Swain as its new community impact director. In her new position, Swain will work with the 2-1-1 service that refers callers to nonprofits that can provide them help in addition to assisting the organization in its fundraising efforts. The position was necessary to maximize the organization’s efficiency after the Marion County United Way expanded into Taylor County earlier this year.

We congratulate Swain on her new position, and look forward to seeing the United Way Campaign complete its goal of raising $500,000.

Cheers to all three Marion County teams on winning their respective Week 2 games. This is the first time since 2017 that all three county teams notched victories at the same time, as East Fairmont snapped its 13-game losing streak with a 20-14 win over Grafton on Thursday night.

We know how hard all our athletes work, and we encourage them to keep it up as they continue to move through the season.

Cheers to Fairmont State University and this year’s Leadership Marion class, a 10-month civic leadership-oriented class that offers those from business, government and the community the chance to engage with different aspects of the community. We encourage this kind of civic engagement.

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