Cheers to John Provins of the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission for being named West Virginia Tourism Professional of the Year last weekend at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism held at Snowshoe Resort. We believe Provins’ work at Palatine Park speaks for itself and this award just proves eyes are on Fairmont and the progress MCPARC is making to improve quality of life in Marion County.

Cheers to 9-year-old Cowen Carpenter and the resilience he has displayed fighting the rare neurological disorder Chiari malformation. Another cheer to his grandmother, Tonya Daft, for raising awareness about Chiari by walking in Saturday’s Conquer Chiari Walk Across America in hopes that more research can find a way to end the disorder that touches some 300,000 Americans.

Cheers to Downstream Strategies of Morgantown for completing a study for Fairmont City Council on ways to redevelop parts of the city. Let’s hope the $31,000 study does not sit on a shelf — as many studies do across the U.S. — but gets put in action to create jobs and infuse new things to do in The Friendly City.

Cheers to the Marion County Commission for assisting the Town of Fairview in addressing its recent water system problem. The $25,000 county allocation will be matched with other funds to tackle the overall $40,000 repair project that involves replacing a water pump so residents and businesses can have safe, clean drinking water.

Cheers to the widespread community support that was shown this week to launch the Marion County Christmas Toy Shop to be held on Black Friday at the county election center side of Palatine Park. The program, now in its 11th year, helps provide Christmas for many families that may not have a Christmas otherwise. Programs like these, when we come together with one loving focus, truly build a community.

Cheers to the Marion County Chapter of the NAACP as it celebrates its 10th anniversary advocating for the less fortunate who have faced a civil or social injustice. May your work continue to flourish for another decade and beyond. Keep providing the necessary educational programs you have in hopes history will not repeat itself.

Cheers to Nick Saban and his wife Terry for founding the Nick’s Kids Foundation, which has now established the Kerry Marbury Memorial Scholarship to provide a scholarship at Fairmont State University where Marbury taught. Longtime childhood friends, Saban and Marbury won a state high school football championship as students at the former Monongah High School. Marbury passed away earlier this year from cancer.

Cheers to House of Delegates members Mike Caputo, Linda Longstreth and Michael Angelucci for writing the CEO of Alecto Healthcare Services and inquiring about the future of Fairmont Regional Medical Center. All three delegates stated they want to be proactive and reach out to help the hospital in any manner possible.

Cheers to Fairmont State University art associate professor Joel Dugan for taking the lead on a project to paint a mural on a wall at Palatine Park with art students from his classes. Cheers to Fairmont City Council for giving the green light to the project, which is likely to create a buzz in the coming months as the mural comes to life.

Cheers to the economy and how it is manifesting itself in Marion County through property valuations. According to Marion County Assessor Mark Trach, property valuations are up over the same time in 2018. He said the average home value in Marion County is $230,000.

Cheers to Aletta Moffett for having the vision five years ago to launch the Marion County Chapter of Read Aloud West Virginia. Hundreds of Marion County children’s lives have been enhanced — not to mention taught how to love books and reading — by the volunteer readers Moffett helped train. We wish her much success as she steps down from her lead role.

Cheers to the Marion County Salvation Army as it kicks off preparations for its annual Angel Tree gift and clothing program for children in need. This program is another outstanding example of how Marion County comes together to help those in need.

Jeers to Alecto Healthcare Services, owners of Fairmont Regional Hospital, for creating an environment of uncertainty after laying off 25 workers at the hospital along Locust Avenue. The community wants to know if Alecto is in it for the long game and whether cost-cutting measures hospital administrators put in place will improve the facility’s balance sheet.

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