Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 14, 2012

Oysters, politics on tap this week

— — eed a ride to the polls? The Mercer County Republican Executive Committee will be offering free rides to county Republicans to the polls on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 6, (or to anyone that plans to vote Republican). Call (304-887-9363 by Nov. 5 to reserve your ride to the polls).

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The upcoming election will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which electors will officially elect the president and the vice-president of the United States. The president is elected by the Electoral College and not by popular vote. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, announced funding for 17 community health centers in West Virginia to provide more coordinated care modeled after patient-center medical homes.

“Providing coordinated care in a medical home setting benefits both the patient and the physician,” Rockefeller said. “This funding will support community health centers across the state to improve care and services. This is another tangible benefit for West Virginians from the health reform law.”

The Tug River Health Association, Inc., of Gary will receive $55,000 from the grant program.

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The Bluefield Shrine Patrol’s Annual Oyster Dinner is just around the corner. The big event will be held on Thursday at the Brushfork Armory and the political season promises another big crowd. The doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Advance tickets are still on sale and may be purchased from any member of the Bluefield Shrine or Shrine Patrol.

Rodney Butcher, Donnie Butcher, veteran oyster fryer Marvin Edwards, Ben Gay and Nindo Punturi are warming up the fryers and will have the oysters ready for everyone to enjoy. These guys are renowned for their culinary oyster arts and measure up to the best of them when it comes to frying oysters. A number of local politicians show up for the event. Rumors have it that Senator Joe Manchin, Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, and Supreme Court bench candidate Tish Chaffin may be in line for a plate of oysters and shake a few hands.

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To hear some tell it West Virginia is the “pork” state. Senator Robert C. Byrd was often pictured as the king of pork by political rivals.

However, CNBC recently shed some light on federal funding. It seems that Florida receives more in federal funds than any other state, $30,000 per person. The Sunshine State is Uncle Sam’s favorite son. Florida receives more federal funds than any other state, both in total dollars and on a per capita basis.

Florida’s take is 50 percent higher than No. 2 Texas. Virginia falls in the top five. Alaska received the most per resident.

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The Boys Scouts are having their annual popcorn sale. If one of them comes around asking for an order, try to support the Scouts.

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Bluefield Virginia Mayor Don Harris was recently selected by the Virginia Municipal League to serve a second term as a member of the legislative committee. The duty and honor is given to those that serve as exemplary elected leaders in municipal government. Harris serves as a member of the town section of the VML. He is the only member west of the Roanoke and Salem area.

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West Virginia veterans can now receive a veteran designation on their driver’s license in honor of their military service.

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There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. We have had our first frost and the skies finally returned to blue. Please plan to vote and I hope you are enjoying another blue sky day.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.

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