Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 16, 2014

Positive headlines: Small, but welcomed, developments

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — While we may only be a mere 16 days into the new year, a sprinkling of positive news stories have still made headlines across the region in recent days and are certainly worthy of recognition.

The good news, after all, was sandwiched in between a train derailment in McDowell County, a polar vortex and a large-scale chemical spill that left more than 300,000 without water. But in the midst of this chaotic start to 2014, a number of positive headlines could be found as well.

They include:

• The release of a new promotional video for Mercer County showcasing local areas and attractions such as the town of Bramwell, the Chuck Mathena Center and the Princeton Railroad Museum by the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Marie Blackwell, the center’s executive director, says the video also will be incorporated into the convention bureau’s website.

• Upgrades and renovations to three of the seven city playgrounds in Bluefield have now been completed, according to Bluefield City Manager Jim Ferguson. And he says work to refurbish the four remaining playgrounds in the city will be completed this year. All new playground equipment will be added to ensure a safe and fun time for area youngsters.

• Winfred Shrewsbury, a local entrepreneur, is hoping to create a fishing pond in the city limits of Princeton that will offer a family friendly venue for recreation. The project is being developed at the site of the old Douglas Sporting Goods property in the city limits of Princeton. The pond will feature catfish fishing in the spring and summer months and trout fishing in the fall. All the fishing will be catch and release and the pond will hold tournaments on the weekends. The city’s zoning board is scheduled to vote on a permit approval for the project Feb. 20.

• A talented group of nine youngsters from Tazewell High School were among the first from Southwest Virginia to enjoy a face-to-face meeting with new Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. In addition to meeting with the new chief executive, the Model General Assembly group also had legislative discussions in the General Assembly Building offices of both Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell, and Del. James “Will” Morefield, R-Tazewell, as well former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and new Attorney General Mark Herring. The students are to be applauded for helping to make an early positive impression of Southwest Virginia with the state’s new elected leaders.

Good news headlines are always welcomed in our region. And sometimes these positive headlines can be smaller, or simpler acts that will help improve the overall quality of life in our region. We all can take steps — both big and small — to better our neighborhoods and communities, to help our neighbors in need and to promote an overall positive impression of the coalfield region. Any and all such deeds are certainly worthy of recognition.