The United Way of Southern West Virginia will now be serving Mercer and McDowell counties as well as Bluefield, Virginia. The three remaining Virginia counties will be served by the United Way of Virginia Highlands.
At the beginning of the summer I applied for a $5,000 grant to develop a farmers market in Northfork. I also applied for several other grants to benefit the town in the future. I’m happy to report that my application was successful. Using the grant money, a greenhouse, plants, pots, and other necessary supplies for the famers market were obtained. With the help of Mayor Marcus Wilkes, Desirae Williams, Dana Lester, Michelle Rucker and the town workers we were able to make a difference. On top of this, grant funds were used for a general town beautification project, which was instrumental in allowing for the North folk library to remain open. I’m also happy to report that other agencies and the town government were able to work in concert, helping develop not only this project but also several other projects that stemmed from it. By developing partnerships with West Virginia Extension, Grow Appalachia, Green for All and Going Green I was able to make this small amount of money go far. Ensuring that the town of Northfork would be on the list for various other projects such as Habitat for Humanities willing to build homes in Northfork and Appalachian State Project to come in and repair older homes for free in the future.
Unfortunately, it seems as if the culture of the town government means that projects like this will not be possible in the future. The members of the town council have made it difficult for projects like this to succeed, whether due to personal pettiness or ineptitude, I’m not sure. As the grant writer and primary sponsor of this project, I’m recusing myself of further association with this administration. The town council has put the need of community in jeopardy. It saddens me to think several people on the The Town Council cannot have vision to move a town that is the gateway into McDowell forward. With the declining populations of Northfork and the desperate need of new ideas to make the town better ignored. Your Town Council should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. Obviously, when they are willing to steal files, denigrate the only policeman, try to terminate one of the best town workers; my help is no longer need to improve Northfork as an up and coming town. With the library in jeopardy of closing and Pioneer Bank shutting it’s door in the fall. Maybe, what is need would be more effect leadership on the Town Council in the future. I have no other choice but to hereby resign as the town’s unofficial grant writer. I hope that you’ll be able to find another volunteer who’s willing to perform this service, because the town so desperately need help.
WELCH, W.Va. — A McDowell County jury found the daughter-in-law of War Mayor Tom Hatcher not guilty in his murder.
The panel returned its verdict Wednesday afternoon in the Becky Hatcher case after deliberating for a day and a half. Hatcher, 32, and her brother, 27-year-old Earl Click of Grundy, Va., allegedly killed Mayor Hatcher, 72, in his home on July 17, 2012—a day after the mayor threatened to prosecute her for various crimes involving his money. FULL STORY
If you have watched Hollow you will recognize this story from the sequence, FOR THE LAND. The loss of Mayor Hatcher will be felt for a long time.
One cold November morning, I was awakened to the sound of my alarm clock singing “Good Morning”. As much as I wanted to pull the sheets over my head and go back to sleep, I was eager to get to school and get the day started. Every day held a new adventure and so much to learn. I was especially excited for after school because I knew I could play basketball. I stumbled out of bed, and got a shower.
With my book bag on my back and my lunch pail in my hand, I headed out to catch the bus. I looked back to see my mother waiving good bye and shouting “Dare to Dream!”
As the bus approached our school, I looked up the steps to see a grassy area where our former school use to be. We made our way up the steps to our new school and into the class room. I would catch myself daydreaming about the day when our school would have a huge basketball court right there in that grassy area. As the days came and went, my years at the Elementary School soon past. I was off to a new adventure called Middle School.
Many things changed that year. I had to get up even earlier to get on the bus but one thing remained the same. The famous words of my mother “Dare to Dream” and my love of Basketball. I met many new friends and people that shared the love of the game as much as I did. I worked hard to excel in school and put my studies first. My love of basketball grew stronger and I found myself playing with the best of the best.
I would continue to make frequent visits back to my Elementary School where it all began. I especially enjoyed visiting my former basketball coach and we talked about what I wanted to be when I grew up. She too was an inspiration in my life and encouraged me to “shoot for the stars”. I was honored to be asked to come back and help coach the kids in basketball at my Elementary School. I found joy in seeing the look on the children’s faces as they made a foul shot. The glisten in their eyes took me back to my days on that same court.
I later began High School and found myself devoting more and more time to my studies. I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I chose to go into College Preparatory in High School and seek out colleges that offered a Sports Medicine degree. In my spare time, I continued to play basketball for the High School.
I graduated at the top of the class and College took me some distance away from home. Although the roads took me far away, my heart was still back home. I went back to visit as often as I could and made it a point during spring break. It was always a pleasure to go back home to hear that good ole Comet Spirit!
After many years of following my dreams, I graduated College with my degree in Sports Medicine. I was asked to prepare a speech for my Elementary School Awards Ceremony. Here is an excerpt: “Dear Fellow Comets: I am honored to be here today to celebrate your victories! Keep your head in the game, reach for the sky and Dare to Dream!!”
Because I had been so blessed with memories from my old home town, I decided to donate enough funds to have a Full Court built for my former Elementary School. Here in this town no dream is so big that it can not come true!
The children that attend Anawalt Elementary currently do not have a gymnasium. They practice basketball on the community court in Anawalt. The Comets “home court” is at Kimball Elementary, a school 25 minutes away.
Rileigh Corner practicing basketball on Anawalt community court.