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Diane Tarantini: A scaredy-cat’s guide to travel
Diane Tarantini: A scaredy-cat’s guide to travel

When I was growing up, most of our family vacations involved two days to drive from Huntington to Myrtle Beach, a week in a hotel, then two days to drive home.

Farmer’s Table: Mexican Meatball Soup
Farmer’s Table: Mexican Meatball Soup

This has been a great summer for growing tomatoes. They have been big, beautiful and tasty.

Eric Douglas: Right to speak freely comes with responsiblity

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government...

South Charleston’s Summerfest gets underway ‘Around the Mound’

Dancing, live music, food and refreshments are on tap in South Charleston as the city’s annual Summerfest gets underway “Around the Mound.”

Girls Night Out fundraiser Saturday at Culture Center
Girls Night Out fundraiser Saturday at Culture Center

Declared and designed as a party with a purpose, Girls Night Out 2017 will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History Culture Center.

Volunteers sought for 2017 United Way Day of Caring
Volunteers sought for 2017 United Way Day of Caring

The 12th annual United Way of Central West Virginia Day of Caring takes place next month, and many hands are needed to ensure its continued success.

St. Francis of Assisi School having open house, ice cream social Sunday

St. Francis School in St. Albans is inviting area residents to its open house and ice cream social this Sunday, Aug. 13.

Drag Racers Hall of Fame opens in Winfield, honors local glory days, drivers
Drag Racers Hall of Fame opens in Winfield, honors local glory days, drivers

Jim Winters and Gary Jarvis couldn’t stand to see their childhood heroes go unrecognized.

Farmer’s Table: Tomatillo Salsa
Farmer’s Table: Tomatillo Salsa

This is the time of year when I try to use last year’s frozen produce to make room for this year’s bountiful harvest.

Eric Douglas: Back to school is the happiest time of the year!

I’m not a big fan of television commercials, but a memorable one from a couple years ago is the office supply store, showing happy parents skipping through the establishment singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the...

Diane Tarantini: Confessions of a former neat freak
Diane Tarantini: Confessions of a former neat freak

Confession: I peeked inside my daughter’s diary once.

Alum Creek Lions Club’s 36th annual pig roast and car show on tap Saturday

Hog calling bragging rights will be on the line this Saturday, Aug. 12, when the Alum Creek Lions Club’s annual pig roast and car show gets underway at Lions Park on Coal River Road, Alum Creek.

St. Albans Studio of Dance moves into new location
St. Albans Studio of Dance moves into new location

You can’t miss the bright pink building on Sixth Avenue in St. Albans.

Creativity drives South Charleston woman
Creativity drives South Charleston woman

Karlie Price, or better known as Karlie Belle to her friends, has always had that creative edge about her.

WV Health Right to host Super-Hero Run/Walk
WV Health Right to host Super-Hero Run/Walk

You don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound to be regarded as a super-hero.

Carbide Camps reunion coming next month to Charleston
Carbide Camps reunion coming next month to Charleston

The yearly reunion of Carbide Campers is slated for Sept. 22-24, for those who attended the Union Carbide-sponsored summer programs during the 1940s to 1980s, and their guests.

Back to School Xplosion Sunday on West Side
Back to School Xplosion Sunday on West Side

The inaugural Back to School Xplosion is scheduled to “detonate” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, at the old Moore’s Lumber Yard, 500 Patrick St. on Charleston’s West Side.

Town tours augment train trips at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Town tours augment train trips at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Visitors of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in Pocahontas County are invited to take a tour showcasing the park’s past when it was a thriving company town of 2,000 residents during the peak logging years of the early 20th century.

Diane Tarantini: What to do with a bounty of basil
Diane Tarantini: What to do with a bounty of basil

I have good news and bad news about my garden.

The good news is it’s thriving, despite the fact that I was nearly a month late getting it in the ground.

Farmer’s Table: Rosemary Garlic Biscuits
Farmer’s Table: Rosemary Garlic Biscuits

I make biscuits a few times a year. Most of the time I use commercial biscuit mixes, since a breakfast of biscuits and gravy is often a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Eric Douglas: Why are men afraid of strong women in fiction?

Why are men afraid of strong women -- in fiction?

I’m not trying to start an argument. I’m really not. I just don’t get it.

Nitro sponsoring stargazing event Aug. 11 at Ridenour Park
Nitro sponsoring stargazing event Aug. 11 at Ridenour Park

Whenever Nitro resident Nancy Harrison looks up at the stars, she can’t help but think of her daughter, Halley Brooke Smith.

Jefferson Business Association urges donations to Weimer Elementary supply drive
Jefferson Business Association urges donations to Weimer Elementary supply drive

The Jefferson Business Association is in the midst of its annual school supply drive to benefit George C. Weimer Elementary School in St. Albans.

South Charleston ready to kick off its 100th-anniversary celebration
South Charleston ready to kick off its 100th-anniversary celebration

Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 9, the City of South Charleston will officially kick off its 100th-anniversary celebration.

Kanawha City community bicycle ride planned for Saturday
Kanawha City community bicycle ride planned for Saturday

Rainfall put a dampening damper -- and, ultimately, the kibosh -- on the Kanawha City Community Association’s Bike Appreciation Day that was scheduled for May 21, but, weather permitting, the community-oriented, outdoor event will take to the...

Robert Saunders: The best view
Robert Saunders: The best view

“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”

So goes one of those inspirational sayings that frequently finds its way into Internet memes. Before social media, you’d see it on posters with words emblazoned across a...

Diane Tarantini: Give (financial) peace a chance

“If only we had more money.”

Just 10 years ago, I was saying that line on a weekly basis, since there was always more week than money. That all changed when Tony Bear and I found Financial Peace.

Farmer’s Table: Pipikaula
Farmer’s Table: Pipikaula

My husband and I have always enjoyed trying authentic regional dishes when we travel to new locations.

Eric Douglas: Looking at 50
Eric Douglas: Looking at 50

I turned 31 the year that Jimmy Buffett’s book “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” came out. I read it with enthusiasm hoping to learn about a life well-lived and make a plan for my next 20 years. That was 1998.

CAMC Memorial oncology staff arrange wedding for cancer patient
CAMC Memorial oncology staff arrange wedding for cancer patient

As Mary Booker of Charleston describes it, “Florence Nightengale still lives in the nurses and all the staff” on the Oncology Floor 5 South at CAMC Memorial Division in Kanawha City.

Pets get ‘family-style’ treatment at new grooming salon
Pets get ‘family-style’ treatment at new grooming salon

When clients bring their pets to Flawless Pet Salon, Gail Shabdue doesn’t see it as just another dog to groom. The way she sees it, she said clients are entrusting her with a member of their family.

South Charleston city official donates photo archive to S.C. library
South Charleston city official donates photo archive to S.C. library

As the City of South Charleston prepares for next month’s full slate of activities marking the city’s 100th anniversary, Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, got an early start down...

South Charleston Lions Club to kick off its first ‘Kiss-A-Pig’ fundraiser
South Charleston Lions Club to kick off its first ‘Kiss-A-Pig’ fundraiser

Put some lipstick on that pig.

It’s “Kiss-A-Pig” time, and this year, the South Charleston Lions Club is spearheading the event that raises money for the West Virginia Diabetes Camp Kno-Koma at the Greenbrier Youth Camp in...

Elk Valley library to reopen at Crossings Mall Tuesday

Kanawha County Public Library has announced the Elk Valley Branch Library will return to operation at the Crossings Mall location in Elkview on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Chesapeake collectibles shop caters in cool memorabilia
Chesapeake collectibles shop caters in cool memorabilia

The business’ name says it all, very succinctly: There’s a lot of cool stuff inside Cool Stuff Collectibles in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake collectibles shop caters in cool memorabilia
Chesapeake collectibles shop caters in cool memorabilia

The business’ name says it all, very succinctly: There’s a lot of cool stuff inside Cool Stuff Collectibles in Chesapeake.

Diane Tarantini: Breaking up is hard to do
Diane Tarantini: Breaking up is hard to do

It was about this time last year when I ended a friendship. I blame Andy Stanley for making me do it. Stanley is a popular pastor out of Atlanta, Georgia, and from time to time, I work his messages into my podcast schedule.

Activities being planned for annual Pinch Reunion in August
Activities being planned for annual Pinch Reunion in August

The nation’s longest running community reunion returns to Pinch next month. Here is an overview of some of the activities planned so far:

Footwork in the forest
Footwork in the forest

Many people in the audience for the Kanawha Valley Community Band concert at Kanawha Forest on Father’s Day got a little more entertainment than expected.

Habitat for Humanity seeks workshop leaders
Habitat for Humanity seeks workshop leaders

Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam’s Master Homeowner Program is always looking for people to lead a workshop in any subject under the categories of home and garden; décor, furnishings, room makeover, organizing,...

Marine Corps League, Lions unite for Glasgow garden project
Marine Corps League, Lions unite for Glasgow garden project

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Lions Club International, and, as a community project celebrating the anniversary, the Glasgow-Cedar Grove Lions Club joined with the Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Detachment #947 of the Marine Corps League to...

Children’s illustrator to appear at libraries

Kanawha County Public Library will host children’s illustrator Michael White at four branches this week.

Farmer’s Table: Wineberry Coffee Cake
Farmer’s Table: Wineberry Coffee Cake

Note: Credit for the photo of wineberries is attributed to William Pattison, who grew up in my hometown of Chester and now lives in North Carolina. He graciously gave permission to use his photo with this column. He captured the beautiful, jewel-like...

Eric Douglas: A big sign Elk River area is getting back on its feet

A few days ago, I drove to the grocery store.

Living in Pinch, that’s a lot more problematic than it used to be. For more than a year now, we’ve been without access to the local Kroger, Kmart, a number of restaurants, a hotel, a...

New South Charleston salon a family affair
New South Charleston salon a family affair

It’s a family affair at the new Shear Elegance hair salon in South Charleston.

CAMC Memorial staff members arrange wedding for cancer patient
CAMC Memorial staff members arrange wedding for cancer patient

As Mary Booker of Charleston describes it, “Florence Nightengale still lives in the nurses and all the staff” on the Oncology Floor 5 South at CAMC Memorial Division.

Cabin Creek Grill bringing top area, national entertainers to UKV
Cabin Creek Grill bringing top area, national entertainers to UKV

On the stage and on the plate, all is great with the growing patron base of the Cabin Creek Grill, located at 389 Cabin Creek Road.

Renowned storyteller onstage at Blackwater Falls State Park July 20
Renowned storyteller onstage at Blackwater Falls State Park July 20

DAVIS, W.Va. — Bil Lepp, a nationally renowned storyteller and five-time West Virginia Liars’ Contest champion, will bring his outrageous and humorous tall tales to Blackwater Falls State Park for a free, family friendly performance July...

OBX by bike -- or bust!
OBX by bike -- or bust!

In June, adventure mountain biker Joe DeGaetano biked from Fayetteville to the Outer Banks. During portions of the trip, he rode with companions; other times, he rode alone. He followed hiking trails, 4-wheeler paths, horse trails and back roads all...

Diane Tarantini: All-in
Diane Tarantini: All-in

For more than a quarter of each year, I am a football widow on the weekends, not because my husband is an avid fan, but because he is an excellent Division I collegiate football official.

W.Va. American Water awards grants to four county fire departments

West Virginia American Water announced the awardees of its fourth annual Firefighting Support Grant Program on June 28.

Charleston library to present program on early Native Americans

The early belief that West Virginia was used as strictly hunting grounds for Native Americans with no permanent inhabitants is now being debunked.

Pinch author releases latest in thriller series
Pinch author releases latest in thriller series

Take a thrill ride to the Florida Keys in thriller author Eric Douglas’ latest adventure: “The 3rd Key: Sharks in the Water.”

Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction debuts in St. Albans this Friday
Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction debuts in St. Albans this Friday

Party masks, live entertainment, food and fine art are just some of the ingredients for the first-ever Main Street Masquerade and Art Auction this Friday, July 14, in St. Albans.

20th annual W.Va. School of Gospel Music to be held next week

The 20th annual West Virginia School of Gospel Music is scheduled for Monday, July 17 through Friday, July 21 at Fisher Memorial Church, north of Sissonville.

Local DAR chapter receives top distinction for Vietnam War display at D.C. event
Local DAR chapter receives top distinction for Vietnam War display at D.C. event

The Anne Bailey Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, received first-place recognition last month at the national level for creating the best chapter display for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Farmer’s Table: Shchi -- Russian Cabbage Soup
Farmer’s Table: Shchi -- Russian Cabbage Soup

I don’t often think about making soup during the summer, but last week’s cooler temperatures seemed like the perfect time to try a traditional Russian recipe for Shchi. I had all of the essential ingredients in the garden.

Eric Douglas: Who is really in charge of our health?

Recently, I changed health insurance providers. And my new company decided it needed to make a change to a medicine I take. Not some doctor at the company identifying a way to improve my health or something that would improve my care.

First Presbyterian Church of South Charleston welcomes new pastor
First Presbyterian Church of South Charleston welcomes new pastor

As a fourth-generation member of the clergy, the Rev. Sharon Gearing knows that it’s the people inside a church that can make it a good one.

Cre8 Studios Upstairs expands Olde Main Plaza space in St. Albans
Cre8 Studios Upstairs expands Olde Main Plaza space in St. Albans

When the 4 Brothers Coffee Shop moved from its storefront space on Olde Main Plaza in St. Albans, the building’s owner, Karen Carter-Smith, was faced with finding a new tenant.

Elkview martial artists compete in Ireland, bring home gold
Elkview martial artists compete in Ireland, bring home gold

A team of three students and two senseis (instructors) from the Elkview-based Dueling Dragon Martial Arts academy traveled to compete in the 21st Irish Cup in Dublin, Ireland, on June 17.

Youth football, cheer squads consolidate to become Eastern Kanawha Cougars
Youth football, cheer squads consolidate to become Eastern Kanawha Cougars

A new breed of Cougars will be taking the field this year for youth football games in and around the Upper Kanawha Valley and region.

What’s SUP? Weekend warriors wild about stand-up paddle boarding
What’s SUP? Weekend warriors wild about stand-up paddle boarding

Evan Young of Scott Depot fell in love with stand-up paddle boarding on a beach in Puerto Rico. It was also the occasion when he proposed to his girlfriend.

Eric Douglas: Keep active -- even when you don’t feel like it
Eric Douglas: Keep active -- even when you don’t feel like it

By Eric Douglas

A week or so ago, I ran in a 5K race. It had been five months since I had participated in a 5K. Honestly, my head wasn’t in it, and I finished two minutes slower than I did in my first 5K race on essentially the same...

Sissonville church to host youth music camp next week

The Joy in Singing Music Camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 10-14 at the Fisher Chapel Church, located a quarter-mile on the road to Rippling Waters, Sissonville.

Magician coming to Kanawha libraries
Magician coming to Kanawha libraries

Kanawha County Public Library will present “The Comedy Magic of Rory Rennick” as part of the 2017 Summer Library Club. Rennick will perform at 11 a.m. (Riverside library), 2 p.m. (Sissonville library) and 6 p.m. (Elk Valley Express...

Free family movie nights to be held in Nitro

As a free summer activity, the City of Nitro will host family movie nights every Tuesday through July except for holidays.

Farmer’s Table: Choizon Sweet Potato Hash
Farmer’s Table: Choizon Sweet Potato Hash

By Susan Maslowski

My husband volunteered to head up MIA Recovery Missions in Vietnam and Laos in his final years as an archeologist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The missions were to achieve accounting of Americans missing during the...

Diane Tarantini: Three and done: How I do dinner
Diane Tarantini: Three and done: How I do dinner

“What should I make for supper?”

That panicked question probably gets repeated millions of times every week. Such a basic requirement can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow this easy formula: protein...

Pinch author releases latest in thriller series
Pinch author releases latest in thriller series

Take a thrill ride to the Florida Keys in thriller author Eric Douglas’ latest adventure: “The 3rd Key: Sharks in the Water.”

Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Marine Corps League Detachment turns 70 years old
Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Marine Corps League Detachment turns 70 years old

It’s been said that “once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Snakes Alive! 35th anniversary tour makes stops at Nitro, Hurricane libraries
Snakes Alive! 35th anniversary tour makes stops at Nitro, Hurricane libraries

How many adults does it take to lift and hold Freda, a 15-foot-long Burmese python?

Former HYCAT, GW standout named to collegiate Scholar All-America swim team
Former HYCAT, GW standout named to collegiate Scholar All-America swim team

Academic and aquatic excellence have led to a national distinction for a George Washington High School graduate who is entering her sophomore year of college in Virginia.

Volunteers distribute free smoke alarms throughout Elk Valley
Volunteers distribute free smoke alarms throughout Elk Valley

American Red Cross West Virginia Region volunteers and officials observed West Virginia Day, Tuesday, June 20, by installing free smoke alarms in communities affected by the cataclysmic floods of June 2016, including those along the severely stricken...

Diane Tarantini: Lessons from the thousand-year flood
Diane Tarantini: Lessons from the thousand-year flood

Beneath the photo of her flooded home, my friend DeeDee’s Facebook status read: “One day can change everything.”

Applications available for antlerless deer season limited permit areas
Applications available for antlerless deer season limited permit areas

Applications for the 2017 Antlerless Deer Season limited permit areas are now available online at www.wvhunt.com, and will be accepted until midnight, Aug. 13.

Kanawha branch libraries to present program on early Native Americans

The early belief that West Virginia was used as strictly hunting grounds for Native Americans with no permanent inhabitants is now being debunked.

Elizabeth’s Attic in Nitro a one-stop gift boutique on 21st Street
Elizabeth’s Attic in Nitro a one-stop gift boutique on 21st Street

There are no forgotten cast-offs in this attic.

It’s Elizabeth’s Attic in Nitro, celebrating its 15th anniversary under owner Vikki Hamilton. Located at 107 21st St., Elizabeth’s Attic is an inviting gift boutique that...

Eric Douglas: The reason we celebrate independence

The day we all celebrate, the day that this country officially began moving forward as an independent nation, is the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted. It’s actually not the day it we declared ourselves free.

Farmer’s Table: Meyer Lemon Blueberry Pie
Farmer’s Table: Meyer Lemon Blueberry Pie

Consumers may be surprised that the farmers who grow beautiful produce often have very unhealthy diets. I am proud that I grow much of what we eat, but sometimes I don’t have time to make every meal from scratch.

Pinch author releases latest in thriller series
Pinch author releases latest in thriller series

Take a thrill ride to the Florida Keys in thriller author Eric Douglas’ latest adventure: “The 3rd Key: Sharks in the Water.”

Christian’s Sports Beat: Time for summer running
Christian’s Sports Beat: Time for summer running

It’s now summer and that means everyone will be seeing more runners and walkers out there on the roads and trails in the area. It’s the time of the year when those who exercise outdoors need to remember a few very important things that...

‘History Wednesdays’ return to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in St. Albans
‘History Wednesdays’ return to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in St. Albans

Theodore Roosevelt helped kick off St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s “History Wednesdays” series on June 21. The leader of the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, who became America’s 26th president, held his...

Fun Fitness Kids Club brings age-appropriate play equipment to babies, toddlers
Fun Fitness Kids Club brings age-appropriate play equipment to babies, toddlers

When Justin and Traci Phillips’ daughter was getting ready to turn 1, they wanted to have a party for her and her guests that would include safe, age-appropriate play equipment.

Two Tinkers fine art/jewelry shop opens in Charleston
Two Tinkers fine art/jewelry shop opens in Charleston

Three floors up and several days ago, an emporium of unique fine art, jewelry and other creations made its debut in downtown Charleston in the midst of the recent FestivALL festivities.

Stories, experiments highlight ‘Science Tellers’ at Cross Lanes library
Stories, experiments highlight ‘Science Tellers’ at Cross Lanes library

Shara Donohue arrived at the Cross Lanes Branch Library in a Hyundai loaded with the stuff of science.

Diane Tarantini: How to make a life you love

During my second pregnancy, I experienced difficulty in a relationship, one with another young mother.

‘Weimer On Wheels’ helps kids avoid ‘summer slide’
‘Weimer On Wheels’ helps kids avoid ‘summer slide’

Weimer Elementary School staff and volunteers went into the St. Albans-area community recently, reading to and with students as part of the school’s efforts to reduce the “summer slide.” (The summer slide is when students’...

KCPL to host teen ‘escape room’-themed events

As part of the 2017 Summer Library Club, Kanawha County Public Library is offering a unique, interactive event for teenagers.

Eric Douglas: Summer is here -- go do it!

There are three “summers.”

There is the unofficial beginning of summer that happens on Memorial Day. There is meteorological summer that begins on June 1 and then there is today: June 21 – astronomical summer. Today is the...

Camp Virgil Tate hosts Kanawha County 4-H’ers for weeklong activities
Camp Virgil Tate hosts Kanawha County 4-H’ers for weeklong activities

Who knew a dripping, wet sponge could be so much fun?

Mermaids, dragons to converge at West Side dance/arts studio
Mermaids, dragons to converge at West Side dance/arts studio

Children ages 4 to 9 are invited to exercise their bodies and imaginations next week at the Academy of Arts at January’s on Charleston’s West Side.

Elk River Boots and Saddle Club rebounds following floods
Elk River Boots and Saddle Club rebounds following floods

With the heat beating down, Rick Starcher carried a barrel onto the main horse ring at the Elk River Boots and Saddle Club in Elkview.

North Fork trout quest at Harman’s Cabins
North Fork trout quest at Harman’s Cabins

I’m a self-taught fly fisher, and sometimes it shows.

Coal River community float celebrates importance of WV’s waterways
Coal River community float celebrates importance of WV’s waterways

While barely three dozen paddlers turned out for the first Tour De Coal community float event in 2005, more than 1,000 people made the 11-mile drift from the base of Upper Falls of the Coal River at Meadowood Park near Tornado to the Gateway Shopping...

Diane Tarantini: I bleed green – and blue and gold
Diane Tarantini: I bleed green – and blue and gold

To me, living in West Virginia these days can feel a bit like Civil War times. Because of the division between Marshall and West Virginia University sports fans.

Riverside graduates receive EBHS Alumni scholarships
Riverside graduates receive EBHS Alumni scholarships

At the 17th awards ceremony at Riverside High School on May 11, the East Bank High School Alumni Association awarded 25 scholarships in the amount of $4,000 to each graduating recipient.

Elk Valley Library Association obtains $1K Dollar General grant

Earlier this month, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded the Elk Valley Library Association Inc. a grant to support summer literacy.

Eric Douglas: Family memories for West Virginia Day

It’s amazing how often we have to remind people from outside West Virginia that we are actually a state.

Farmer’s Table: Lemon Blueberry Tiramisu
Farmer’s Table: Lemon Blueberry Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert. The name tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian. Tiramisu is most commonly made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a mascarpone cheese and whipped cream filling and dusted with cocoa.