Cheers to Marion County’s newest centenarian, Amelia Shenasky Zentz of Monongah, who turned 100 years old on Jan. 11. Zentz’s life is a shining example of a life well-lived. From dancing the Radio City Rockettes and meeting such stars as Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire, Zentz and her husband were entrepreneurs who owned two different businesses in Marion County at different times. Congratulations on an amazing story to keep telling.

Cheers to WVU Extension and the WV Cardiac Project that is now underway in Marion County Schools. The program involves students and their parents, who together, will learn about healthy physical activities and nutrition as a means of improving their lives and staying healthy. We applaud every program that kids’ parents involved with their education.

Cheers to the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and its grants program, which helps promote physical activity and healthy living in Marion County by helping schools and other organizations maintain and upgrade playgrounds and activity spaces for kids and adults alike.

Cheers to Fairmont State University and its kick of spring semester and the relevant role it plays to making Fairmont an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. We wish each faculty and staff member and student their best semester ever.

Cheers to U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito(R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin(D-W.Va.) for passing Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019, passed the Senate right before Christmas. This bipartisan legislation would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to submit detailed reports on patient safety and quality of care at VA Medical Centers in light of the recent deaths of Veterans at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center.

Cheers to the innovation and creativity that went into deploying the Express Library at White Hall’s Public Safety Building. Not only did construction of the Express Library give more people convenient access to books and DVDs and other items, it shows a larger commitment to literacy and the importance of reading and lifelong learning.

Cheers to WV Heart Safe Schools, Project ADAM, the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Marion County Board of Education for their new commitment to deploy more Automated External Defibrillators in local schools and athletic facilities. Seconds count when someone has a cardiac event and more AEDs and individuals trained to use them, more lives can be saved.

Cheers to the eight employees of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office who received promotions last week. We all look to law enforcement to keep us safe and protect us. With a well-trained police force in the sheriff’s office, we expect professionalism at every encounter.

Jeers to whatever led to the critical shortage in foster homes for children in crisis. We urge everyone who can to write their state lawmakers during this session of the West Virginia Legislature to push the House and Senate to enact a positive fix to a horrible situation. Too many children’s lives are at stake.

Cheers to engaged parents such as Frank Washenitz for rallying support and raising funds to take care of a true need at Fairmont Senior High School -- building a girls locker room in the gymnasium. It’s grassroots efforts like these that demonstrate community in action. And further kudos to the Marion County Board of Education for donating $4,500 to the project to help finish up the project.

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