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Christian’s Sports Beat: Four years to remember
Christian’s Sports Beat: Four years to remember

I never know when an idea for a column will pop into my head, and this week’s occurred when I was running through the neighbor adjacent to Valley Park recently and crossed paths with Barkley Castro, a Winfield native and currently a member of...

Eric Douglas: Donor fatigue can be a problem

We’ve had two catastrophic hurricanes in recent weeks. They devastated not just portions of the United States, but the Caribbean, as well. There was a huge earthquake (and a hurricane) in Mexico, flooding in Bangladesh and wildfires are...

Diane Tarantini: Get it in writing

In case you haven’t noticed, DNA testing is enjoying a moment. There are a number of testing kits on the market right now—Ancestry.com and 23 and Me, for instance.

Nitro Elementary School kicks off its 100 Mile Club
Nitro Elementary School kicks off its 100 Mile Club

Judging by the noise level in the Nitro Elementary School cafeteria, there will be no shortage of energy when students embark on their 100 Mile Club walking goals this year.

New CEO adding community-oriented events to family entertainment center
New CEO adding community-oriented events to family entertainment center

James Mabon wants to challenge the stigma surrounding post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries that affect many former military personnel.

Sushi Garden eatery opens in Riverwalk Plaza
Sushi Garden eatery opens in Riverwalk Plaza

Mike Oo learned to make sushi as a teenager.

His years of experience as a sushi chef have made his Sushi Garden eatery inside the Capitol Market in Charleston a popular spot for diners.

Chili cooks sought for Hurricane Harvest Festival
Chili cooks sought for Hurricane Harvest Festival

Amateur chefs are invited to add their own simmering brand of awesome to autumn at the Hurricane Harvest Festival’s Chili Cookoff on Saturday, Oct. 14, at City Park in Hurricane.

Diane Tarantini: Put it in writing

When Tony Bear and I married, his parents gave us three wedding gifts: a food processor and two pasta cutters — one for making spaghetti and fettucine, the other for cavatelli.

Clendenin construction company based on solid foundation
Clendenin construction company based on solid foundation

Founded in Clendenin in February and drawing upon more than 30 years of combined professional experience, Framing Men Construction, LLC, is building houses, decks, garages and other structures — and a trusted reputation in only a few months of...

Eric Douglas: Friends lost to overdose not forgotten

A year ago, I wrote that I was angry at the loss of a young woman, my step-daughter’s best friend, to drugs.

Nitro churches to have centennial homecoming services on Sunday
Nitro churches to have centennial homecoming services on Sunday

Nitro’s year-long centennial celebration continues this week with its annual Boomtown Days festival.

St. Albans businessman offers building space for gallery, entertainment
St. Albans businessman offers building space for gallery, entertainment

When businessman Frank McCormick saw the building at 63 Olde Main Plaza in St. Albans, he knew he had found a new home for his company, Multiple Ventilation Products.

Annual Mound Festival kicks off on Saturday in South Charleston
Annual Mound Festival kicks off on Saturday in South Charleston

Come rain or come shine, shoppers looking for unique gift items will find them at the 39th annual Mound Festival in South Charleston.

Inaugural Kanawha Falls Festival to feature world-class kayak competitors
Inaugural Kanawha Falls Festival to feature world-class kayak competitors

Some of America’s best professional whitewater athletes will challenge the feisty, frothy waters -- and each other -- at the first-time Kanawha Falls Festival Thursday, Sept. 14, at the falls site near Gauley Bridge.

Pedaling Paint Creek from Pratt to Pax
Pedaling Paint Creek from Pratt to Pax

The 44-mile Paint Creek Scenic Trail has become a favorite of area cyclists, who enjoy its bucolic views that include waterfalls and wildflowers.

New quilting and fabric shop open in Nitro
New quilting and fabric shop open in Nitro

When Kathy Shaffer was living and working near Chicago, the quilting bug bit her. Hard.

Inaugural Mudstock concert in Elkview to continue flood relief efforts
Inaugural Mudstock concert in Elkview to continue flood relief efforts

Although the floodwaters of June 2016 have long receded, the needs -- physical, financial and emotional -- still exist for the thousands affected by the disaster’s ravages in the Elk River area and beyond.

Musical line-up named for Nitro Boomtown Days
Musical line-up named for Nitro Boomtown Days

The centennial version of Nitro’s Boomtown Days festival will feature a wide range of musical entertainment from bluegrass to country to rock.

Activities listed for Montgomery Fall Festival
Activities listed for Montgomery Fall Festival

The City of Montgomery has announced the activities and musical entertainment line-up for its Fall Festival.

Christian’s Sports Beat: State’s chief executive still loves coaching
Christian’s Sports Beat: State’s chief executive still loves coaching

Most high school and middle school coaches wear two hats, one for their day job and one for when they are coaching student-athletes.

Diane Tarantini: A child’s independence day

I love the first day of school, be it kindergarten, middle school or college. Once the kids walk out the door, there is both silence and a guaranteed span of time in which messes will not be made. The clean quiet makes me feel like I belong to me...

Eric Douglas: Seeking to entertain, even during difficult times

I end up writing for a lot of different reasons. I write for a scuba magazine, I write this column, I write for clients and I write fiction. Sometimes I hope to inform, others I hope to entertain. Ideally, a little of both.

Farmer’s Table: Philly Sloppy Joes
Farmer’s Table: Philly Sloppy Joes

A trip to Philadelphia always means experiencing the city’s history. That includes sampling a Philly cheesesteak or two.

South Charleston Public Library to host ‘Drive Electric Week’ event
South Charleston Public Library to host ‘Drive Electric Week’ event

Larry Harris might need a refresher course on how to operate a gas pump.

Rescued horses trot to the showring
Rescued horses trot to the showring

Horses and their riders will strut their stuff and show their mutual skills during the fifth annual Open Fun Show and Appalachian Trainer Face Off, scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Winfield Riding...

New family-friendly programs coming to Pipestem Resort State Park
New family-friendly programs coming to Pipestem Resort State Park

PIPESTEM, W.Va. – Sundays at 3p is a new event format at Pipestem State Park. The free monthly programs will start at 3 p.m. at Pipestem’s McKeever Lodge and will last about an hour. The family friendly programs will feature wildlife...

North Bend State Park hosting wild foods event Sept. 15-17
North Bend State Park hosting wild foods event Sept. 15-17

CAIRO, W.Va. — North Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods event, will celebrate its 50th anniversary Sept. 15-17, 2017, with a special celebration of renowned natural...

Carbide Camps reunion coming next month to Charleston, Blue Creek
Carbide Camps reunion coming next month to Charleston, Blue Creek

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.

Students from China visit the Cross Lanes YMCA Child Development Center
Students from China visit the Cross Lanes YMCA Child Development Center

A group of young students from China paid a recent visit to the Cross Lanes YMCA Child Development Center. It was one of several field trips the Chinese students took while they attended an English Learning Summer Camp at West Virginia State...

Cranberry Needlecrafts & Framing Shop celebrating 30 years
Cranberry Needlecrafts & Framing Shop celebrating 30 years

For three decades, a quiet little shop in South Charleston has been a haven for “stitchers,” those enthusiastic devotees to the art and craft of counted cross-stitch.

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...

Happy 100, South Charleston!
Happy 100, South Charleston!

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.

Hikes for tykes: Some trails to tackle for younger legs
Hikes for tykes: Some trails to tackle for younger legs

A hike can be a conducive conduit to health for all ages, most everyone will agree, but too far or challenging a trail can tax younger family members’ stamina and endurance.

New River Gorge Games draw competitors, outdoor lovers
New River Gorge Games draw competitors, outdoor lovers

Some of the most challenging terrain for mountain biking, paddling and running can be found in the Mountain State.

Topwater lures a top choice for midsummer bass
Topwater lures a top choice for midsummer bass

It’s hot. I mean really hot. Summertime in Appalachia typically has a few guarantees and a couple of those are heat and humidity. There are any number of activities that people can do to beat the summer heat, but few are as fun...

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...