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Column: A coal poem

In the fall of 1990, as the United States prepared for the first Gulf War, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper in Matewan.

‘Twilight Tuesday’ 5K race tabbed for Oct. 28
‘Twilight Tuesday’ 5K race tabbed for Oct. 28

Three rigorous and vigorous months in the making for some of its young, area racers, the “Twilight Tuesday” 5K Run will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at the University of Charleston.

St. George Orthodox annual dinner Oct. 26 in Charleston

The St. George Orthodox Cathedral’s annual Middle Eastern-cuisine dinner will be served from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Column: It’s October!

As I write this, it’s 1:30 in the afternoon on the first of October, and I’m at the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida.

Third annual W.Va. Marching Band Invitational Saturday

On Saturday, Oct. 25, 34 high school marching bands from across the state will gather in Charleston for the third annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston scheduled for Oct. 25
Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston scheduled for Oct. 25

The 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25.

‘Monster Run’ part of Nitro’s Fest-For-All Halloween activities

In a foot race, fear is a great motivator.

For competitors in this Saturday’s inaugural 5K Monster Run in Nitro, having a variety of ghouls hot on their heels, will no doubt contribute to some record-setting finishing times.

St. Albans Parks & Recreation sponsoring annual ‘Haunted Trail’
St. Albans Parks & Recreation sponsoring annual ‘Haunted Trail’

Every year at this time, St. Albans City Park sheds its sunshine and wildflowers image and begins to show its darker side.

Column: A century of service and counting

By Channing Persinger

A few weeks ago, I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of the Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Column: An idea to revitalize Patrick Street
Column: An idea to revitalize Patrick Street

Why is good architecture reserved for the wealthy or for ceremonial spaces?

Mongolian Beef
Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef is said to be a classic American-Chinese dish, but there are those in the United Kingdom who claim it was invented there. It really doesn’t matter. One thing is clear. It is popular -- and for good reason.

Kanawha Players’ “The Evil Dead -- The Musical’ opens Friday
Kanawha Players’ “The Evil Dead -- The Musical’ opens Friday

The Kanawha Players will debut its 2014 public performances of “The Evil Dead -- The Musical” on Friday, Oct. 17, at the KP Theater, 309 Beauregard St. on Charleston’s East End.

St. George Orthodox annual dinner Oct. 26 in Charleston

The St. George Orthodox Cathedral’s annual Middle Eastern-cuisine dinner will be served from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Rock and gem show/sale this weekend in South Charleston

Searching for that unique gift for someone or looking for the opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping?

Nitro disabilities advocate, others create unique emergency-response app
Nitro disabilities advocate, others create unique emergency-response app

Clear communication can be a life-or-death matter in emergency response during a time of crisis. An employee of the Appalachian Center for Independent Living in Big Chimney and others have created an innovative, modern-day way to improve the odds for...

A Hero’s SALUTE! fundraiser to benefit state veterans
A Hero’s SALUTE! fundraiser to benefit state veterans

A time machine needn’t be your mode of travel to salute (and support) West Virginia’s military veterans this month. It just may seem like it. (You’ll actually have to use a shuttle service.)

Dunbar Intermediate student designs winning T-shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Dunbar Intermediate student designs winning T-shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There were plenty of “super-heroes” dressed in pink during Thomas Health System’s kick-off of Breast Cancer Awareness Month Oct. 1 at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston.

Charleston native to offer lecture, book-signing this week
Charleston native to offer lecture, book-signing this week

Taylor Books will host a free book-signing and reception for the recently published short story collection, “Ladies in Low Places,” by Charleston native and South Carolina author Mary Ann Henry, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10.

First Presbyterian Church of Charleston presenting ‘Lay Academy of Religion’
First Presbyterian Church of Charleston presenting ‘Lay Academy of Religion’

Science, faith, evolution and atheism are the topics of two, free public lectures at First Presbyterian Church of Charleston. The lectures of part of the church’s Lay Academy of Religion.

Nitro Development Authority/CVB moves into new headquarters
Nitro Development Authority/CVB moves into new headquarters

Although the Nitro Development Authority was created 24 years ago, not many residents were aware of its existence, perhaps due to its nearly hidden offices inside the old Nitro High School on 21st Street.

WVU alumni golf event to aid area childhood cancer awareness group
WVU alumni golf event to aid area childhood cancer awareness group

Golfing in a Caribbean paradise seems an improbable way to help West Virginia families dealing with childhood cancer, but an area advocate, West Virginia University alumni and some former gridiron stars are committed to making it happen.

Column: October is Pink Ribbon Month
Column: October is Pink Ribbon Month

Last year, at the beginning of October, this column included the first of a series of articles about Jean Hanna Davis and her struggle with breast cancer and chemotherapy for the second time in 10 years. Hoping to inspire other women in the same...

Faith in Action oversees volunteer caregiving services in Kanawha, Putnam counties
Faith in Action oversees volunteer caregiving services in Kanawha, Putnam counties

A nonprofit, interfaith ministry launching officially this week, Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley provides an array of free services to elderly and disabled residents of Kanawha and Putnam counties, based on the availability of volunteer...

ATVs, UTVs give hunters easier access
ATVs, UTVs give hunters easier access

Over the years, ATVs and UTVs have become an important tool for hunters across the region.

Walking on the wild side
Walking on the wild side

In 1968, administrators at North Bend State Park and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources contacted the Little Kanawha Regional Council to see if they could recommend a speaker who would attract enough participants to fill the park lodge,...

Katie’s Country Crafts nears first anniversary in Marmet
Katie’s Country Crafts nears first anniversary in Marmet

A tiny, painted saying located quite discreetly above a wooden doorway at Katie’s Country Crafts reads, in delicate script, “Happiness is Homemade.”

Touching up the trail: Mary Ingles Trail gets needed maintenance
Touching up the trail: Mary Ingles Trail gets needed maintenance

At twilight, Bob Weiford can stand on a small field overlooking his property near Winfield and imagine the glow of campfires, the laughter and the conversations that came every September from a primitive encampment next to his house.

Art Works Studio in Cross Lanes moves into bigger teaching space
Art Works Studio in Cross Lanes moves into bigger teaching space

Artist Sharon McClanahan has room to grow, now that she has moved her Art Works Studio into a bigger space in the Olde English Village apartment complex in Cross Lanes.

Learning fun and safety
Learning fun and safety

Samera Nance smiled with glee as another metal target went down.

Christian speaker to discuss ‘Preventing Violence’ Oct. 14 at Clay Center
Christian speaker to discuss ‘Preventing Violence’ Oct. 14 at Clay Center

Everyone wants to feel safe wherever they are. Elise Moore, an international Christian speaker from Nashville, will present a talk titled “Preventing Violence” on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clay Center Walker Theater,...

W.Va. Gemological Laboratories specializes in detailed, expert jewelry appraisal
W.Va. Gemological Laboratories specializes in detailed, expert jewelry appraisal

As the Mountain State’s largest independent jewelry appraisal service, Charleston-based West Virginia Gemological Laboratories provides expertise as rare as many of the items William D. Harper assesses assiduously for a living.

OktoberWest entertainment lineup revealed

The 10th annual OktoberWest celebration on Charleston’s West Side is slated for Saturday, Oct. 11.

‘Celebrate the Watershed’
‘Celebrate the Watershed’

A grassroots effort in 1995 to alleviate illegal dumping and litter in the Davis Creek area has grown into the nonprofit Davis Creek Watershed Association.

MU Rec Center unveils mobile app

The Marshall Recreation Center has released a mobile application for iPhone and Android users to stay connected with all aspects of campus recreation.

Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk set at Coonskin
Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk set at Coonskin

The Charleston Regional Spay Neuter Center has announced the launch of its inaugural Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk fall fundraiser.

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana with the Creoles during the early 18th century. Louisiana Creoles descended from the colonial settlers of French, Spanish and African descent.

Educating young -- and young-at-heart -- hunters
Educating young -- and young-at-heart -- hunters

For many West Virginians, fall hunting season is like Christmas, Thanksgiving and their best childhood birthdays all rolled into one.

Going strong at 72
Going strong at 72

A hiking club that began in 1942 is still motivating adventurous souls to get out and commune with nature.

St. Albans Walk Against Hunger, 5K Run to take place Sept. 27
St. Albans Walk Against Hunger, 5K Run to take place Sept. 27

The annual St. Albans Walk Against Hunger and 5K Run will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, starting at the Loop Plaza in St. Albans.

Elkview Baptist Church to host On Target 3D Archery program
Elkview Baptist Church to host On Target 3D Archery program

Archers who may be itching for a wilderness experience, yet one not so far off the beaten path, are invited to visit Elkview Baptist Church for a 3D hunting opportunity to hone or refresh their bowstring-pulling skills.

The Butchmeister: I’m a Strat-O-Matic Baseball nerd
The Butchmeister: I’m a Strat-O-Matic Baseball nerd

I’m a nerd.

No, I’m not one of those that would suffer humiliation through high school (well, maybe a little) only to later form a multi-million-dollar Internet startup.

Third annual Kanawha Farm Bureau horse show coming in October
Third annual Kanawha Farm Bureau horse show coming in October

The third annual Kanawha County Farm Bureau Fall Festival Horse Show will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 18, at Camp Virgil Tate in Cross Lanes.

Zucchini Corn Pancakes
Zucchini Corn Pancakes

Homegrown zucchini and corn have no competition in the supermarket. Even with imperfections, they definitely taste better than their perfect, store-bought counterparts.

Home sweet home
Home sweet home

As a gracious hostess, 5-year-old Haley Wilcox gave a visitor a splendid tour of her and her sister Ashley’s new backyard abode in the South Hills section of Charleston.

Support sought for Sissonville Heritage Festival
Support sought for Sissonville Heritage Festival

A present-day effort to honor Sissonville’s past is hoped to become a future staple in the community.

Kanawha City exercise franchise introduces ‘Brickhouse Meals to Go’

The Charleston-based Brickhouse Cardio Club fitness studio franchise announced it has developed and will launch its own line of healthy, chef-prepared meals, called “Brickhouse Meals To Go,” at pilot locations across the country,...

W.Va. Gemological Laboratories specializes in detailed, expert jewelry appraisal
W.Va. Gemological Laboratories specializes in detailed, expert jewelry appraisal

As the Mountain State’s largest independent jewelry appraisal service, Charleston-based West Virginia Gemological Laboratories provides expertise as rare as many of the items William D. Harper assesses assiduously for a living.

Gazette-Mail Outdoor Pursuits: Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour Saturday takes in scenic routes in Putnam County
Gazette-Mail Outdoor Pursuits: Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour Saturday takes in scenic routes in Putnam County

Hardy cyclists with a penchant for pedaling and climbing hills will find plenty of both in this weekend’s annual Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour in Putnam County.

Editor’s Desk: Time to huddle up with high school football
Editor’s Desk: Time to huddle up with high school football

Fall is almost a month away, according to the calendar, but one of the sure signs that summer days are waning is the start of high school football season, which kicked off last weekend.

Kanawha City exercise franchise introduces ‘Brickhouse Meals to Go’

The Charleston-based Brickhouse Cardio Club fitness studio franchise announced it has developed and will launch its own line of healthy, chef-prepared meals, called “Brickhouse Meals To Go,” at pilot locations across the country,...

Hunter safety course coming to Belle

A free hunter safety course will take place at Belle Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 and 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14.

Charity golf tournament scheduled at Big Bend Saturday

Applications are being accepted for the annual St. Paul Community and Economic Development Corporation Charity Golf Tournament.

Pick a peck of poblano peppers
Pick a peck of poblano peppers

Poblano peppers are one of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico. They are large, somewhat heart-shaped, dark, shiny green chile peppers used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking.

‘Cabaret’ to benefit Covenant House, Gay Men’s Chorale
‘Cabaret’ to benefit Covenant House, Gay Men’s Chorale

“Life is a Cabaret,” an evening of music and fundraising put on by the Charleston Gay Men’s Chorale, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, in the Great Hall of the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston.

BridgeValley CTC to offer certified personal trainer instruction

BridgeValley Community and Technical College has an upcoming class to train people to become a nationally certified personal fitness trainer.

Mound Festival Arts & Crafts show slated in South Charleston

Rain or shine, the 36th version of the Mound Festival Arts & Crafts Show gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Mound in South Charleston.

Vintage wine cellar prints available as fundraiser from Dunbar Historical Commission
Vintage wine cellar prints available as fundraiser from Dunbar Historical Commission

Prints of an original painting of the wine cellars in Dunbar’s Wine Cellar Park are being sold as a fundraiser by the Dunbar Historical Preservation Commission.

Taking a bite out of crime
Taking a bite out of crime

With an extra spring in his step, Rich White took off running across a field near Valley Park in Hurricane. In hot pursuit was Bella, a heat-seeking missile of a police dog intent on catching him.

City of Nitro’s ‘Central Bark’ dog park now open at Ridenour Lake
City of Nitro’s ‘Central Bark’ dog park now open at Ridenour Lake

New York City has its famous Central Park, but now Nitro has its “Central Bark,” a playground designed especially for dogs.

Foster care program NECCO sponsoring first-time golf scramble
Foster care program NECCO sponsoring first-time golf scramble

Area therapeutic foster care company NECCO will host its first golf scramble on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Little Creek Golf Course in Charleston.

The Butchmeister: Marshall looks at new-look Conference USA for rivals

When the Marshall University football team takes the field this season, they will be competing in a conference nowhere near the one they joined in 2005.

Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup
Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup

Four years ago, I purchased a packet of Italian tomato seeds at an Italian grocery store in Steubenville, Ohio. I’d forgotten about them until this year.

Capital City Vapors opens in Kanawha City
Capital City Vapors opens in Kanawha City

“Vaping” is a new and increasingly common part of the American lexicon, derived from the growing popularity of “e-cigarettes,” the modern counterpart to tobacco products.

South Charleston Interpretive Center honors late donor of Indian artifacts
South Charleston Interpretive Center honors late donor of Indian artifacts

As an enthusiastic amateur archaeologist, Carl H. Wills never left home without a desire to discover something from the past.

Kanawha State Forest hosts first enduro bike race
Kanawha State Forest hosts first enduro bike race

It is said that what goes up, must come down.

When it comes to the enduro, a kind of a mix of downhill and cross country mountain bicycle racing that is becoming more popular in the United States, truer words were never spoken.

On Aug. 9,...

Fennel Vichyssoise
Fennel Vichyssoise

I like to introduce farmers market customers to “new” items. I recently harvested several bulbs of fennel, which seemed to interest a lot of people. However, I couldn’t convince a single person to buy a bulb. It is one of those...

Vickers competes in first national lifting event
Vickers competes in first national lifting event

Austen Vickers picked up weightlifting while playing football at South Charleston High School.

He loved it so much that he bulked up from a wide receiver to a larger, more imposing, 220-pound offensive tackle and defensive end, helping lead the...

Albans Arts Center to present ‘Legend of Sleeping Beauty’

The Alban Arts Center will present the family-friendly story of “The Legend of Sleeping Beauty,” a musical adapted from the story of “Briar Rose” by the Brothers Grimm.

The musical will be staged at 8 p.m. Fridays...

South Charleston Lions sponsoring ‘Kiss a Pig’ fundraiser
South Charleston Lions sponsoring ‘Kiss a Pig’ fundraiser

If you can’t find the love to pucker up for a porker yourself, you can still see it for yourself from a trio of local men willing to take a chance.

The South Charleston Lions Club will host a Kiss a Pig contest to raise funds for eye...

Editor’s Desk: Images from abroad

Got a call from a well-known Putnam County personality the other day.

Bill Ellis of Scott Depot rang to say how much he enjoyed the Readers’ Gallery in Metro Putnam (it also runs in our Kanawha Valley Neighbors sections). Each week, the...

Elk River Back Pack Blessings provides weekend nourishment to youths
Elk River Back Pack Blessings provides weekend nourishment to youths

Elk River Back Pack Blessings is an ongoing operation of donations, volunteer support and community outreach.

Weekly, volunteers assemble at Clendenin United Methodist Church on Koontz Avenue in Clendenin to fill back packs with food items for...

S.C. Chamber hosting interactive murder mystery theater

The South Charleston Chamber of Commerce will host “Another Fistful of Bullets,” an interactive murder mystery dinner theater, at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 and Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Comedy Zone Charleston, located in the Holiday Inn...

Summerfest returns to S.C. this week

Kicking off at 6 p.m. sharp on Wednesday, Aug. 13, the South Charleston Summerfest returns to the Mound on D Street, offering four, fun-filled days and evenings of free, family-style entertainment.

The music lineup, rife with fondly remembered...

Monsanto lawsuit settlement finalized

Thomas V. Flaherty, of the Nitro Class Action Settlement Administrators, LLC, the court-appointed administrator of the Monsanto Nitro Class Action, opened an office in Nitro on July 8.

The settlement will provide benefits for people who owned...

St. Albans Riverfest National Kiddie Tractor Pull winners announced

At the recent St. Albans Riverfest, 66 children ages 3 to 10 participated in the Kiddie Tractor Pull, sponsored by David Smith Frame and Body Shop.

To win, the children rode a tractor pulling a weighted sled down a 30-foot lane. In most groups,...

St. Albans, Nitro fire departments go online with mobile data terminal technology
St. Albans, Nitro fire departments go online with mobile data terminal technology

The St. Albans Fire Department and Nitro Fire Department are using computer tablet technology to enhance their responses to fires and other emergencies.

The two departments’ fire trucks and emergency vehicles are now equipped with...

Active Medical LLC in Hurricane provides mobility solutions, expert care
Active Medical LLC in Hurricane provides mobility solutions, expert care

Helping people stay mobile and independent in spite of medical conditions is just one of the new Active Medical LLC’s specialties.

The locally owned home medical equipment company opened earlier this year at 3475 Teays Valley Road,...

Teen writes political thriller with faith-based message
Teen writes political thriller with faith-based message

Not many teenagers are writing books at age 14, especially not political fiction.

Joshua Higginbotham, though, has written has three such novels, the first one when he was 14. Having just turned 18, Higginbotham’s latest book,...

Marie’s Kanawha River Cafe serves maritime meals in Chesapeake
Marie’s Kanawha River Cafe serves maritime meals in Chesapeake

It may be something of a geographical oddity, but there’s a restaurant in Chesapeake that’s been compared to culinary counterparts in Philadelphia and Little Italy in New York City.

Moreover, the eatery extends roughly 100 feet or...

Cucumber Kimchee
Cucumber Kimchee

This is the time of year when we have too much produce. When I stumbled upon a recipe for Cucumber Kimchee, I was ecstatic, because I could use up some of the cucumbers I’d harvested in a new and different manner.

Kimchee is a spicy,...

Pinch Reunion on tap this weekend
Pinch Reunion on tap this weekend

Continuing a tradition that extends beyond a century now and bears national distinction, the annual Pinch Reunion will take place this weekend in the Elk Valley town.

Festivities begin on Friday, Aug. 8, with the annual Pinch Reunion...

Ribfest sizzles into Shawnee Park this month
Ribfest sizzles into Shawnee Park this month

Several seasoned, world-class chefs will be doing far, far more than just blowing smoke in and around Dunbar in a few days.

That impending, smoky, sizzling haze over Shawnee Park, located between Institute and Dunbar on W.Va. 25, will be a...

‘Affordable Meals’ program launches Monday in Dawes
‘Affordable Meals’ program launches Monday in Dawes

For many -- if not most -- families nowadays, preparing healthful meals can be a challenge on a tight budget and a frequently frenzied everyday household schedule.

Help is on its way to harried parents and singles next week, in that regard. The...

Summer Squash makes tasty dish from garden favorites
Summer Squash makes tasty dish from garden favorites

The ripe fruits and vegetables in our garden often inspire our summer meals. There is no need to go to the grocery store when every thing needed for a healthy meal is right outside the back door.

Some crops are always more prolific than others,...

ARC co-founder joins Mountaineer Montessori School faculty
ARC co-founder joins Mountaineer Montessori School faculty

Jennifer Carriger, the co-founder of the Appalachian Reading Center, has been named the full-time reading and learning consultant at Mountaineer Montessori School, 308 20th St., Charleston.

Carriger received bachelor’s degrees in...

Summerfest 2014 kicks off Aug. 13 with live music, food, dancing

When the conversation turns to the annual South Charleston Summerfest, “free” is the key word.

This year’s Summerfest, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, at the Mound on D Street, is the 15th version of the summer...

St. Albans 9-10-year-old girls win state title
St. Albans 9-10-year-old girls win state title

St. Albans has had a pretty strong history when it comes to softball over the past few years.

In 2006, the St. Albans 11-12 Little League team won a state title.

Four years later, the high school team, which has had only one losing season...

Anytime Fitness sponsoring 5K run/walk

Anytime Fitness will sponsor a 5K run/walk to help an area couple with medical treatment costs for their 1-month-old daughter.

The 5K event will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at the University of Charleston.

The entry fee is $25 per...

Annual state Church of God camp meeting Sunday
Annual state Church of God camp meeting Sunday

With its proclaimed theme of “Identity,” the annual West Virginia State Camp Meeting of the Church of God will get underway at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, and continue through Friday, Aug. 8.

The camp meeting will be held at the...

EKG/ECG training course offered at BridgeValley CTC

BridgeValley Community and Technical College will offer an EKG/ECG Technician Certification Training course that will prepare students to function as EKG technicians and to take the American Society of Phlebotomy Technician’s Electrocardiograph...

Annual 25177 Foundation golf outing Aug. 9 at Big Bend

The 11th Annual 25177 Foundation Golf Outing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9 at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado.

This two-person scramble golf outing will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $75 per golfer or $150 for a...