Cheers to the Marion County Board of Education for responding to public outcry and finding a new meals vendor for children who face food insecurity during the stay-home order of the coronavirus pandemic. For the longest time during the stay-home order, children were being given meal bags with sugar and starch-filled snacks and very little, if any, proteins.

Cheers to the transportation department in Marion County Schools for allowing the bus drivers to spell out 2020 and the initials of each high school to honor local graduating seniors. In a year when most senior year traditions are gone, these new memories will last forever.

Cheers to Food Lion and its Lion’s Pride Foundation for stepping up to fight hunger by donating funds to Feeding America, the Salvation Army, the Mountaineer Food Bank and others in this trying time that has caused food insecurity for millions of American families.

Cheers to Fairmont State University for addressing the return to whatever normal will look like during fall semester on campus. Last week, the university laid out a plan to have students back on campus. But first, students will be allowed on campus this week to retrieve items from the residence halls to close out spring semester.

Jeers to Project Graduation for hosting a pool party instead of its traditional event for graduating seniors. It’s hard to grasp how students are going to be able to maintain physical distancing in a pool while also trying to have fun. As Gov. Jim Justice said himself, the virus isn’t going anywhere and we need to find a way to live with it safely until a vaccine is developed and approved.

Cheers to North Marion High senior Alex Masters who recently signed a letter of intent to play college soccer at West Liberty University near Wheeling.

Cheers to the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission for continuing the summer meal program for kids whose families face food insecurity. Although MCPARC will not be holding its traditional summer playground program for kids, the kids who would normally attend with still receive some level of care.

Cheers to the Tygart Center nursing home for the extraordinary measures its staff have taken to maintain zero cases of COVID-19 reported at the facility. In doing so, Tygart Center remains an outlier among West Virginia and national nursing homes with its successful track record.

Cheers to members of the Preston County Commission, W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin who all voiced serious concerns about bringing federal prisoners to Federal Correctional Institute Hazelton from other U.S. prisons to quarantine here. That means the members of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 420 were heard in their protest of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to bring the inmates here and the concerns corrections officers raised about safety were valid.

Cheers to Main Street Fairmont and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce for facilitating last Friday’s “virtual” town hall with Sen. Joe Manchin to discuss such issues as unemployment compensation, the economy and what the future holds under the COVID-19 pandemic.

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