Jeers to the collateral damage that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create, especially for our public schools. As we reported this week, Marion County Schools are set to lose $1 million in state funds due to a drop in student enrollment brought about by more families deciding to home-school their children.

Cheers to Marion County School Superintendent Donna Hage for bringing new ideas to the district. The latest is having school principals attend school board meetings to give the board updates of activities at their schools. Keep up the great work.

Cheers to the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority and the fact that it has managed its levy funds so well, the agency was able to fund, in part, a new maintenance building behind its headquarters on Quincy Street.

Jeers to the circumstances — pandemic-induced building supply shortage — that drove up the price of the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority’s new canopy its constructing.

Cheers to the owners of The Joe and news of expanding to Bridgeport with their brand known as Stone Tower Brews, which will open soon off of Jerry Dove Drive. Seventy-six percent of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses, basically serving as the backbone of the American economy.

Cheers to Christ Episcopal Church and Rev. Jordan Trumble for hosting the recent Blessing of the Animals event for pet owners. Trumble read passages from the Bible that reflect gratitude for animals, as well the need to protect and care for them.

Cheers to the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival for getting another feather in its cap. Last weekend, the Three Rivers Festival float won first place in the Preston County Buckwheat Festival. In July, Alexis Bland, 2021 W.Va. Three Rivers Festival Queen, was crowned 2021 Miss West Virginia USA. Brylee Knotts, the 2020 W.Va. Three Rivers Festival Teen queen, was crowned 2021 Miss West Virginia Teen USA at the same pageant with Bland.

Cheers to organizers of the 11th Annual Seth Burton Memorial Disc Golf Tournament for hosting a successful event amid the pandemic. The event draws disc golfers from a five-state area to Marion County. Keep up the good work.

Cheers to the Morgantown-based Child Care Resource Center, which helps Marion County families afford day care amid the pandemic. Officials at the CCRC said they have experienced 300-to-400 new cases since March 2020 when the pandemic hit the Mountain State.

Cheers to the Region VI Planning and Development Council as it prepares to update its comprehensive economic development strategy by seeking input from the public about their vision for a thriving economy in North Central West Virginia. As David Kirk previously reported, “The development strategy is what guides the council toward specific projects and plans, but it also helps the council secure its federal funding.”

Cheers to the Marion County Family Resource Network for honoring as heroes those members of the community who went above and beyond the call of duty over the past year to serve the community. This year’s heroes were the South Fairmont Rotary Club, former Fairmont Mayor Nick Fantasia, Tygart Valley United Way Executive Director Brett White and former Marion County School Superintendent Randy Farley.

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