Cheers and congratulations to all our high school football teams for a great start to this year’s season.

North Marion and East Fairmont played a great game on Thursday in Rachel, despite the Huskies defeating the Bees, 33-10. Meanwhile, Fairmont Senior played at Buckhannon-Upsher on Friday and brought home a rousing 56-14 win.

We wish all three times the best of luck in the upcoming season. We know you will all make Marion County proud.

Cheers to participants in the Overdose Awareness Vigil yesterday. While this was the first event of its kind in Marion County, the vigil is an event that takes place simultaneously all over the world.

Residents from Marion County gathered at the courthouse steps to light candles and remember those who have been lost to the opioid epidemic. This is a topic we try to cover a lot, and our hearts are with those who have been personally affected by this kind of tragedy.

Cheers to the Farmington Town Council for taking initiative and getting an interest-free loan to address the leaking roof at their Town Hall. The Marion County Development Authority approved their loan for $15,000, which will be paid back over seven years, to get the situation fixed.

The leaks have caused damage throughout the building, including light fixtures and ceiling tiles, and we’re glad to know the problem will be addressed soon.

Cheers to Pierpont Community and Technical College for offering their new “flex term” for non-traditional students. This term is meant to accommodate students who have other obligations and full schedules that would otherwise exclude them from the time needed to take college classes.

Lyla Grandstaff, Vice President of student enrollment, highlight the need for this type of scheduling.

“The hardest step is making that first step and coming in,” Grandstaff said. “We have seen many times students come in and want to start, and the only time to start is that January start date, and once they walk out that door, it’s hard to get them back in.”

We hope this new schedule works for members of our community who would otherwise be unable to further their education, and we would encourage anyone who might be interested in the program to contact Pierpont for more information.

Cheers to the relatively new Fairmont Human Rights Commission for holding their recent fact-finding forum to get a sense of the communities needs. The forum discussed this year’s Pride Picnic, as well as the Juneteenth celebration and employment issues faced by people living with disabilities.

The feedback seemed to indicate, for the most part, that minority groups in Fairmont don’t face a huge amount of discrimination. We’re glad to hear this from the organizations who attended the forum, and glad to be a part of an accepting community.

Cheers and congratulations to the Marion County Child Advocacy Group. The group recently received a grant from the State of West Virginia for just over $81,000 — the largest amount granted from the state — to help provide a safe place in Marion County for children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse. We think this is an essential service for our community, and the need is clear.

Staff members have provided forensic interviews for around 100 kids this year so far, and are working on 270 open cases. We’d like to sincerely thank this group for their service.

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