McDowell County and Welch put on a class act for “Stop the Hurt” at the Welch Armory last Saturday evening. The affair featured Gov. Joe Manchin as the headliner declaring “There are two things we can give our children, roots and wings.” He noted that children need a loving and caring adult in their life, a safe place, a healthy start and skills to live in a global economy.

Col. Ed Kornish, one of McDowell’s favorite sons and instrumental in founding “Stop the Hurt” in Welch, gave another round of support to the charitable cause. It is the mission of “Stop the Hurt” to provide a safe and central location to serve abused and neglected children where law enforcement officials, medical care professionals, social workers, counselors, and other child advocates may help these children. Taking a small frightened child that has been the target of abuse or neglect to a half dozen locations for evaluation and other reasons is a traumatic experience for the child. The abuse or neglect is bad enough. It is not right to add more hurt to these children and that is precisely the goal of the organization. Congressman Nick Rahall praised the cause and the people working to help children, our most precious resource.

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Chief Judge Booker Stephens may have some competition on his hands today. The long-time occupant of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court bench is being challenged by Ted White. White has launched a door-to-door campaign for the democratic nomination. White came to Welch from Washington state in ’98 and practiced law as a public defender on his Washington state bar card. Stephens has also been out beating the brush for votes. This may be a race to watch today.

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The phone rang early last Thursday morning bringing news about the Title I Informational Meeting — Summer Reading Workshop for Parents — held at the Mercer County Vo-Tech Center in Princeton.

The short title, “Parent Involvement Seminar,” aimed to provide parents (and grandparents) with tools and confidence to reinforce children’s reading and math skills through the summer months. Studies have shown that children’s reading skills regress two months during the summer unless parents or other caretakers work with children on those skills at home during school summer vacation. In the seminar, concepts such as inferencing, (concepts drawn from reasoning), multiplication factorials, all long ago lost in the catacombs of some of our brains, were brought to the attention of the audience. Participants were shown some simple, but highly effective, teaching techniques. These techniques are well known to professional educators, but were not on the forefront of conscious thought for some of us adults outside the academic world. We received the quick course on how to make learning fun. The seminar was led by Pat East, Title 1 reading supervisor, and Ruth White, Title 1 secretary. Ashley Pettus, Allison Clark, Angela Neal, Megan Repass, Louise Simmons and Paula Meridith led workshops. They deserve an “A.” Even I was fascinated by the “Magic Jar” story. 6! = 1x2x3x4x5x6 = big number ... P.S. My wife, a retired Tazewell County teacher, complimented the materials and said they were excellent.

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Today will be another day in a chapter of history for the Mountain State. We will elect candidates to represent our political parties in the November General Election. Between now and November, we can expect heated exchanges about how each candidate proposes to make our state, counties and country a better place. We have heard promises made about many things. Beware of the candidate that gives you a list of items that they “support.” The function of the office to which a candidate is seeking election may not have the authority to address the issues that the candidate mentions. Compare the function of the office to the promises alluded and to the issues the candidate endorses. Please go vote.

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Bill Clinton … yes he was in Athens last Thursday night stumping for Hillary. He was late. JFK also arrived late the day he came to town. I had hoped that Hillary, Barack Obama and John McCain would come to town — all on the same day. So much for wishful thinking …

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There you have it, a few words on politics and items of interest to the area. I hope you have a good morning, a warm day and blue skies to go to the polls. And one more thing ... When you see patch of pink in the early evening sky, it is probably someone special waving at you.

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

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