Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 28, 2012

Election blitz begins

By WILSON BUTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Election Day, Election Day, just eight more days ’til the election ... I don’t think I’d ever make it as a jingle writer, but you get the picture. The last minute ads are heating up and the blitz is on. The only relief I see is the “storm.” Tom Childress, a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, asked me if I was ready for the “perfect storm.” No, I’m never ready for any storm no matter how much I prepare or anticipate the event.

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West Virginia veterans can now receive the “Veteran” designation on their driver’s license in honor of their military service. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said, “We are truly grateful for the service our men and women in uniform have provided to our state and nation. A small token of our appreciation, this ‘Veteran’ designation will allow our veterans to easily and proudly display their military service.”

The governor also unveiled the state’s new sesquicentennial license plate, which highlights West Virginia’s 150 years of statehood.

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Get ready. Several local sponsors are presenting a Holiday Showcase and Silent Auction to benefit the W.I.S.E. Women’s Resource Center, located on Commerce Street in downtown in Bluefield. W.I.S.E. (Women In Search of Empowerment) assists women seeking to enter the workforce by providing many helpful services.

The organization is also a source of proper apparel for the business environment. It helps women research jobs, prepare resumes and prepare for interviews. The organization depends largely on donated clothing and other materials, as well as volunteers, and also partners with other organizations to accomplish its goals.

The showcase and auction will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Bluefield Elks Ballroom. Admission is only $20 and there will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment.

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If you haven’t already done so, please get your flu shot. Apparently there are three strains of the flu that heath officials are concerned about this year. The swine flue, a Wisconsin strain of influenza and an Australian variety are serious problems. You should get a flu shot because you’re not only protecting yourself. You’re protecting the people around you

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I spent several hours in the woods and on the roads atop Windmill Gap last week. The trek was quite enjoyable. I saw a few small deer and several wild turkeys. I also saw a number of four-wheelers riding along the road to the trails.

I met some folks from Pennsylvania and North Carolina who were riding the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system. They said they were thoroughly enjoying their visit to our area and were very complimentary of the scenery. We were looking across a vista and they asked where I lived. I said, “see that tallest mountain in the far distance. I live at the foot of that mountain.”

In unison they said “Wow, how great.” The view of East River Mountain is even more impressive from a distance away. Sometimes we locals take the splendor of our mountains for granted.

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There are a number of folks in the War and Warriormines areas of McDowell County who want to see a trailhead constructed and a trail developed to connect that area and Berwind Lake to the Hatfield and McCoy Trails system. If developed, the connection would boost the local economy. The town could provide food, housing and necessities for trail riders.

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Florida is at it again. The Presidential Election is eight days away and Palm Beach County has already tainted 27,000 absentee ballots. The problem is that the ballots can not be digitally scanned because of a design flaw. Elections workers began Monday duplicating the markings from bad ballots to new ones so that the votes may be recorded. The accuracy of results is being questioned. Twelve years ago it was “hanging chads.”

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There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. Please vote. I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful weather we had this past week and that you are enjoying another blue sky ... and one more thing. Bluefield lost another good neighbor. Judson Walker, local State Farm agent, was a good friend to many in this community. We will miss Judson.

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