Jeers to Gov. Jim Justice for simply not listening to those who oppose his flawed plan to cut the state income tax. Double Jeers to his plan to make West Virginia’s sales tax the highest in the U.S., now that’s a sure-fire way to keep people out of the state or drive more away, not to mention hurting the lowest-paid workers in the state who have to pay those sales taxes.

Cheers to the people-powered movement that forced lawmakers in Charleston to stop and take note. Your voices led to the death of House Bill 2626 that would have closed four state-run long-term care facilities, otherwise known as nursing homes. Included in the shutdown would have been the John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center on Guffey Street in East Side.

Cheers to the Barrackville Planning Commission in its quest to craft a new long-term plan for the town. A recent survey of adults gave the commission feedback on what they want to see happen in the town, now the commission is trying get teens to weigh in and share their vision for the town’s future.

Cheers to Main Street Mannington for continuing to find creative ways to support local businesses in the city. Things such as the recent “Mannington Bucks” program, while seemingly small, can instill huge pride in a community. Shop local.

Cheers to Fairmont State University for acting quickly to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for some 600 students last week. Now, the challenge is to grab the same students and ensure they return for their booster shots on April 22. The need to get vaccinated is growing more important daily as now more than 100 West Virginians have been diagnosed as having the U.K. Variant of COVID, also known as B.1.1.7.

Cheers to the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and United Hospital Center in Bridgeport for teaming up April 1 to raise awareness about the need to become an organ donor. As many as 2,500 residents in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia are currently waiting for an organ donor. Studies show becoming an organ donors saves lives.

Cheers to the Marion County Public Library System and all it does to provide engaging programs for adults and children. Yes, “Your Public Library Is Open,” so go there, get your library card and get ready to learn, stretch and grow. Libraries are a vital, American institution.

Cheers to each of the Local School Improvement Councils for their hard work conducting meetings and hearing from parents and teachers and staffers to devise their wish lists for capital improvements to their schools and other buildings under the Marion County Schools umbrella. While not every request can be granted, the needs remain in the forefront of our minds and reiterate that our goal is to provide a safe, clean learning environment for our children and the teachers who teach them.

Cheers to Sagebrush Round-up, home of the West Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, for being able to reopen to the public after a year tangling with the constraints of COVID-19. There is a widely-held belief that listening to and engaging in the public performance of music makes us all better people. Keep up the good work.

Cheers to Farmington resident Franchesca Aloi, 20, for sharing her talents of music and song with others during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It means a lot knowing that I uplift someone through this really hard time with my singing,” she said. “I wish I could’ve been even more involved.

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