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Outdoor Pursuits: Coal River Group kayak rentals open for season
Outdoor Pursuits: Coal River Group kayak rentals open for season

The Coal River has had a history of commerce as well as environmental concerns.

Outdoor Pursuits: Move over, Myrtle — other beaches beckon
Outdoor Pursuits: Move over, Myrtle — other beaches beckon

Live in West Virginia long enough and you’ll likely hear the declaration that its unofficial 56th county is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Outdoor Pursuits: Trail running gets you in touch with your wild side
Outdoor Pursuits: Trail running gets you in touch with your wild side

There’s just something magical about playing in the woods, even if your lungs are burning, your hips ache and your feet feel like they’re about to drop off.

Outdoor Pursuits: Kayak fishing catching on in Mountain State
Outdoor Pursuits: Kayak fishing catching on in Mountain State

My introduction to paddling was in a rented kayak in the Coal River Group’s Tour de Coal a few years ago. I realized I loved paddling. Because I also like to fish, combining the two seemed a natural enough endeavor.

Outdoor Pursuits: Snowshoe Bike Park earning reputation as world-class mountain bike attraction
Outdoor Pursuits: Snowshoe Bike Park earning reputation as world-class mountain bike attraction

For those hard-wired to experience an adrenalin rush while on two wheels, the Snowshoe Bike Park offers one of the best trail systems in the United States.

Outdoor Pursuits: WV sailing with the Sewell Mountain Sailing Association
Outdoor Pursuits: WV sailing with the Sewell Mountain Sailing Association

The discographies of Jimmy Buffett, The Beach Boys, Styx and Christopher Cross display no songs referencing the glories of sailing in West Virginia.

Outdoor Pursuits: WV Musky Outfitters leads anglers to state’s most elusive fish
Outdoor Pursuits: WV Musky Outfitters leads anglers to state’s most elusive fish

The muskellunge, or musky/muskie, can be one of the most elusive fish to catch in West Virginia.

Elk River club a gateway for musky anglers
Elk River club a gateway for musky anglers

The Elk River is one of the best waterways in West Virginia to haul in a big musky.

Endless Wall Trail garners top billing in ‘USA Today’ readers’ choice survey
Endless Wall Trail garners top billing in ‘USA Today’ readers’ choice survey

If one needs a reminder of just how beautiful the Mountain State is, take a hike on the Endless Wall Trail in the New River Gorge near Fayetteville.

Cabin Creek off-road pro shares know-how on optimum options
Cabin Creek off-road pro shares know-how on optimum options

For as long as there have been motorized vehicles, people have taken advantage of them to improve their enjoyment of the outdoors.

Eric Workman Memorial Muskie Tournament exceeds expectations
Eric Workman Memorial Muskie Tournament exceeds expectations

Three years ago, Scott Smith had modest expectations for the inaugural Eric Workman Memorial Muskie Tournament.

Outdoor opportunities span the summer landscape, waterways, mountains of West Virginia
Outdoor opportunities span the summer landscape, waterways, mountains of West Virginia

Below is a calendar of just a small sampling of some of the outdoors-related activities open to the public throughout West Virginia through the end of August:

Christian’s Sports Beat: A race to remember
Christian’s Sports Beat: A race to remember

Many runners agree that the Super Bowl of running events is the Boston Marathon, held every year on the third Monday of April, when everyone in Boston celebrates Patriots Day.

Christian’s Sports Beat: A race to remember
Christian’s Sports Beat: A race to remember

Many runners agree that the Super Bowl of running events is the Boston Marathon, held every year on the third Monday of April, when everyone in Boston celebrates Patriots Day.

Fundraising effort underway to purchase new police dog
Fundraising effort underway to purchase new police dog

If Bullet, a K-9 service dog with the Nitro Police Department were human, he’d be 60-something and ready to retire from the high stress of police work.

Arts camps planned this summer

Arts in Action on Main Street in Hurricane is offering an “Artistic Discovery Camp” for students in second through 12th grades. For $50 tuition for the week, students will participate in dance, theater, music/drums, choir, and art each...

Wellness Coalition supporting schools’ SADD programs

Building better communities through awareness and prevention is a guiding principle of the Putnam County Wellness Coalition.

Area organizations to host Artistic Discovery Camp in Hurricane

Arts in Action, the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department, the Appalachian Children’s Chorus and the City of Hurricane are teaming to provide an Artistic Discovery Camp July 13-17 at Valley Park in Hurricane.

Registration open for annual Putnam Chamber golf tournament

Registrations are being accepted for this year’s Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, to be held Monday, July 22 at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club in Hurricane.

Dog Jog 5K run/walk to support Putnam animal shelter

The Putnam County Animal Shelter will sponsor the second Dog Jog 5K Run and Walk on Saturday, May 9.

Forrest Burdette Memorial UMC to honor mothers and families with May programs

As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, 2848 Putnam Ave., Hurricane, will be honoring mothers and families with two programs in May.

Veteran of WVU Extension Service named new Putnam County 4-H and youth development agent
Veteran of WVU Extension Service named new Putnam County 4-H and youth development agent

As a true child of the country, Scott Byars would rather visit a farm than do paperwork.

Farmer’s Table: Fish Chowder
Farmer’s Table: Fish Chowder

In the past month, I have attended two conferences at Pipestem State Park. The first, the West Virginia Master Gardeners’ Conference, took place on a cold, snowy spring weekend, but there were plenty of great indoor sessions to occupy my time.

Tri-County YMCA swim programs offer pain ease and great exercise
Tri-County YMCA swim programs offer pain ease and great exercise

Virtually all ages can enjoy the health and social benefits of swim programs offered by the Tri-County YMCA in Scott Depot, and you might want to get a jump on the ones coming up this spring and summer.

Flagg novel focus of next Putnam book club meeting
Flagg novel focus of next Putnam book club meeting

The St. John United Methodist Church Book Club meeting on Tuesday, April 21, will have a discussion of “All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion” by Fannie Flagg.

Nine area schools recognized for high performance, progress

Nine schools in Kanawha and Putnam counties were honored recently for being at the top of their class.

Fishing tournament tabbed for Tornado Saturday
Fishing tournament tabbed for Tornado Saturday

The Mountain State Kayak Anglers will host a fishing tournament on Saturday, April 18, along the Coal River.

Extension Service program focuses on healthy eating, staying active
Extension Service program focuses on healthy eating, staying active

Jennifer Spriggel sets a nice table at the Hometown Senior Center, where she has been leading an eight-week-long class titled “Eating Smart, Being Active.”

Farmer’s Table: Polish Cheesecake
Farmer’s Table: Polish Cheesecake

It has been more than 25 years since Poland’s Solidarity movement defeated the Communist Party, leading to the fall of communism across central and Eastern Europe.

New Hope Animal Rescue sponsors bowling tournament

Whether you’re rolling strikes or gutter balls, homeless animals will be the winners during this Saturday’s annual Bowl-A-Thon at Venture Lanes.

Challenger League baseball provides outlet for special needs youth
Challenger League baseball provides outlet for special needs youth

Josh Taylor sang the national anthem and received a kiss from his mother and looks of admiration from a team of young baseball players.

County robotics team earns world championship tourney berth
County robotics team earns world championship tourney berth

The Putnam Area Robotics Team (or PARTs) 3492 won the FIRST (or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Smokey Mountain Regionals competition recently in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Power starts new season this week
Christian’s Sports Beat: Power starts new season this week

A holiday, of sorts, is occurring this week for excited baseball fans in the Charleston region.

Support Habitat for Humanity during your spring cleaning
Support Habitat for Humanity during your spring cleaning

Since its inception 27 years ago, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam volunteers have created, from the ground up, more than 160 houses that became homes in the two counties, with proceeds from the organization’s ReStore have funded more...

Christian author/homicide detective to speak in St. Albans, at MU
Christian author/homicide detective to speak in St. Albans, at MU

Ratio Christi at Marshall University will welcome J. Warner Wallace, an author, converted atheist, cold case homicide detective and apologist, to Gateway Christian Church and Marshall University on Monday and Tuesday, April 27 and 28 for two free...

MS Walk scheduled for April 18

Over 12,000 of us in West Virginia and Virginia and untold numbers around the world need your help. We have Multiple Sclerosis.

Farmer’s Table: Bara Brith Shortbread Cookies
Farmer’s Table: Bara Brith Shortbread Cookies

This is the time of year when I am reminded of my Friendship Force trip to Wales. My hostess lived alone in a small bungalow atop a hill in Newport. She was a great cook. She baked and sold pastries once a week at the Women’s Institute Market,...

Poca student receives WVATA first-place distinction

Five students from the University of Charleston’s Athletic Training program were selected to present their case studies at the annual West Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association symposium and conference March 6 and 7 in Flatwoods.

Coal River Group hosting ‘Run for the River’ triathlon Saturday
Coal River Group hosting ‘Run for the River’ triathlon Saturday

This weekend’s “Run for the River Sprint, Spoke and Splash” triathlon will provide an early springtime challenge on land and water.

Dog obedience competition coming to Dunbar

The Kanawha Obedience Training Club invites you to experience the world of dog obedience competition this weekend.

Putnam Rotary sponsoring 5K run in Hurricane
Putnam Rotary sponsoring 5K run in Hurricane

The Putnam County Rotary Club’s annual Chet Marshall Memorial 5K Run for Scholarships will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 18 at Valley Park in Hurricane.

Former Winfield High art teacher opens ‘Cre8 Studios Upstairs’ in St. Albans
Former Winfield High art teacher opens ‘Cre8 Studios Upstairs’ in St. Albans

Everyone has an inner artist -- just head to the second floor and let Karen Carter-Smith help you get acquainted.

Surviving male breast cancer
Surviving male breast cancer

In the summer of 2003, while at work as a bread delivery driver, Thomas Eves, or T.L. as he is known to his friends and family, accidentally bumped his chest.

Farmer’s Table: Lamb Meatballs
Farmer’s Table: Lamb Meatballs

Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated more than 10,000 years ago in the Middle East in what is now Turkey.

Spring Home & Garden: Keep mowers buzzing along this spring and summer
Spring Home & Garden: Keep mowers buzzing along this spring and summer

Whether it requires the sprightly yank of a cord, the casual turn of a key or simply some old-school warming-up of the muscles to get moving and mowing, it will behoove you to make sure your grass cutter is primed and ready for a full spring and...

Spring Home & Garden: Tomatoes remain a garden favorite
Spring Home & Garden: Tomatoes remain a garden favorite

A common sight in just about any vegetable garden, large or small, are the beautiful, juicy red (or green) tomatoes.

Spring Home & Garden: Composting provides nutrient-rich soil for gardens, lawns and potted plants
Spring Home & Garden: Composting provides nutrient-rich soil for gardens, lawns and potted plants

It doesn’t take a lot of money to set up a soil manufacturing facility at your home. All you need is a bit of outdoor space and a commitment of time and energy.

Spring Home & Garden: Decks provide attractive and comfortable options for outdoor entertaining
Spring Home & Garden: Decks provide attractive and comfortable options for outdoor entertaining

A well-constructed, code-compliant deck provides a safe and attractive space for outdoor entertaining. And by using some of the newer, composite decking material, your deck could last for 20 years or longer with little maintenance required.

Spring Home & Garden: Yeager Design and Interiors brings spring vividly to indoor, outdoor venues
Spring Home & Garden: Yeager Design and Interiors brings spring vividly to indoor, outdoor venues

Yeager Design and Interiors owner Elizabeth Yeager Cross and her staff have a wealth of items and ideas to refresh your home (and commercial business) for spring, inside and out.

Spring Home & Garden: Going green a growth field for Kanawha Valley women
Spring Home & Garden: Going green a growth field for Kanawha Valley women

Women in prominent roles in landscaping are still an exception. Here are three business owners who have found success in the industry. All three are members of the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association.

Read all about it! Nellie Bly’s ‘madhouse’ exposé
Read all about it! Nellie Bly’s ‘madhouse’ exposé

Lois Lane, the world’s most famous female news reporter, has been a role model for generations of young women. True, she’s fictional. But in her multitude of media incarnations, she always embodies the intelligent, self-reliant career...

Huntington VA Medical Center seeking donations for patients

Whether it’s a club, church group, civic organization, family or individual, everyone can assist the residents of the Huntington Veterans Administration Medical Center, for just a few minutes of their time and a few dollars from their...

Farmer’s Table: Pear & Goat Cheese Salad
Farmer’s Table: Pear & Goat Cheese Salad

My husband and I are always on the lookout for interesting foods to try. A recent trip to northern West Virginia meant a trip to a favorite farm market just across the border in Pennsylvania, where we discovered “Red Bamboo” honey,...

Christian’s Sports Beat: Young runners stepping up to compete
Christian’s Sports Beat: Young runners stepping up to compete

The recent warmer temperatures have allowed runners, young and old, to be able to enjoy their sport outdoors.

Winfield High School opens newly renovated weight room
Winfield High School opens newly renovated weight room

The past two years have been a struggle for the Winfield High School football team as it continues to settle in as a Class AAA program and a member of the highly competitive Mountain State Athletic Conference.

County students shine at Regional Social Studies Fair
County students shine at Regional Social Studies Fair

Putnam County students garnered 12 first-place and two second-place ribbons in 15 categories at the Regional Social Studies Fair March 16 at West Virginia State University in Institute.

Area students place in Regional Math Field Day competition

Kanawha and Putnam county fourth- through ninth-grade students who placed in the 2015 Regional Math Field Day recently include:

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A soccer program designed to provide children ages 6 to 14 with disabilities an environment filled with meaningful learning, developmental and physical participation opportunities through the game of soccer will soon be available in the area.

Scott Depot ‘Eggstravaganza’ to feature 15,000 Easter eggs

Children ages preschool through the fifth grade are invited to attend a free “Easter Eggstravaganza” event from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Teays Valley Acres in Scott Depot.

Kanawha City aesthetician discusses healthy skin tactics
Kanawha City aesthetician discusses healthy skin tactics

Rich Saltsgaver is passionate about healthy skin.

As an aesthetician -- a skin-care specialist -- at Bliss Spa & Salon in Kanawha City since 2009, his specialties have included Hydra facials and care for acne-prone skin.

Farmer’s Table: Chilcano with Peruvian Brandy
Farmer’s Table: Chilcano with Peruvian Brandy

Pisco is a strong Peruvian brandy made by distilling fermented grape juice. In 2011, Peruvian pisco won over 20 gold medals and was named the best liquor in the world at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.

Organizations solicited to support youth summer meal programs

The West Virginia Department of Education is looking for organizations across the state to help feed children during the summer months.

Read all about it: When a news photographer tracked the Wright Brothers
Read all about it: When a news photographer tracked the Wright Brothers

In my previous two columns, I wrote about the rise of the penny press and the fight to define freedom of the press. But newspapers are more than words on paper. Newspapers also tell stories with pictures.

Putnam Wellness Coalition sponsoring video contest for high school students

The Putnam Wellness Coalition is sponsoring a county-wide prescription pill public service announcement video contest and social media event for the county’s high school population.

Red House Church to host drive-thru Easter event

Red House Church, in Red House, will present a special Easter event, “Journey to the Cross,” on Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3.

Faith in Action volunteer training session set
Faith in Action volunteer training session set

A free volunteer orientation training session for Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 21 at the Putnam County Library.

Dance studio hosting Tea Party this Saturday
Dance studio hosting Tea Party this Saturday

The Academy of Arts at January’s dance studio will sponsor a “Chasing Butterflies” Tea Party this Saturday, March 21, in the Valley Park Community Center in Hurricane.

Scholarship fund group meets for ‘Night of Remembrance’ dinner in Teays Valley

The Richard “Dick” Green Memorial Scholarship Fund held its second annual “Night of Remembrance” dinner Feb. 28 at The Greenhouse in Teays Valley.

Putnam County Chamber of Commerce VP wins Young Leader Award
Putnam County Chamber of Commerce VP wins Young Leader Award

The model for a young professional, whose leadership skills recently earned her a prestigious award, can be found in the offices of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

‘Bullets and Steel’ theme of annual Civil War Days at Valley Wave Park
‘Bullets and Steel’ theme of annual Civil War Days at Valley Wave Park

“Bullets and Steel: A Clash at Scary Creek” is the theme of Putnam County Civil War Days, slated for Thursday, March 26 through Sunday, March 29 at Valley Park in Hurricane.

Doggone (good) hot dog sauce
Doggone (good) hot dog sauce

I am not a big fan of hot dogs, and it isn’t because I am a food snob.

Roger Randolph named Mayo Lester Award winner
Roger Randolph named Mayo Lester Award winner

Despite being “semi-retired,” Roger Randolph, founder of Randolph Engineering in Scott Depot, isn’t taking it easy, nor does he want to.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Sports magic on the big screen
Christian’s Sports Beat: Sports magic on the big screen

Readers of this column know that I am a sports fan, I like to play various sports and I like watch all kinds of sports in person and on the television.

Editor’s Desk: Read all about it! The Colonel and the First Amendment
Editor’s Desk: Read all about it! The Colonel and the First Amendment

As I mentioned in my last column, newspapers have a rich history in this country. Like democracy itself, the history is messy at times, with more than its share of oddball personalities.

Native American group relocates, creates new website

The Native American Indian Federation Inc. has moved to a new location, complete a new website and implemented new regulations for tribal membership.

Annual Goodwill dinner March 25 in Charleston

Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley’s annual dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 25, in the ballroom of the Charleston Town Center Marriott.

DNR to host public forums on proposed hunting, trapping, fishing regulations

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will hold 12 public meetings across the state next week to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2015 hunting...

Sponsors sought for Coal River Group’s Run for the River Triathlon

The second annual Run for the River Triathlon, sponsored by the Coal River Group, is seeking sponsors for the April 11 event at Meadowood Park in Tornado.

Strong Start SOUND supplies peer support for new and soon-to-be parents’ concerns
Strong Start SOUND supplies peer support for new and soon-to-be parents’ concerns

Strong Start SOUND (an acronym for “Strengthen-Observe-Uplift-Nurture-Delight”) is a new peer support group in Putnam County that provides listening ears, open hearts, kindred spirits and caring, insightful and instructive words for...

Chamber VP of Programs & Events given Young Leadership Award
Chamber VP of Programs & Events given Young Leadership Award

Ashley Alford, vice president of Programs and Events for the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, has received the Young Leadership Award.

Farmer’s Table: Israeli Couscous Salad
Farmer’s Table: Israeli Couscous Salad

Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, Jerusalem couscous or ptitim, are small, perfectly shaped, round, pasta-like granules made from semolina and wheat flour which are roasted in the oven, giving them a chewy, nutty flavor.

Poor Man’s Lantern Candle Company establishing presence in Nitro
Poor Man’s Lantern Candle Company establishing presence in Nitro

When it comes to candles, Jaime Absten of Hurricane and her fiancé, Bryan Krueger, are experts in the art and science of wax, wicks and fragrances.

Preschoolers learning sign language
Preschoolers learning sign language

Sitting in a semi-circle, Hometown Elementary School preschoolers -- with an occasional giggle or two -- are letting their hands do the talking.

Editor’s Desk: Read all about it! Newspapering presses on...
Editor’s Desk: Read all about it! Newspapering presses on...

As our regular subscribers are aware, we’ve had a production difficulty recently here at Charleston Newspapers. The result was a delay in the delivery of the morning papers on a few occasions.

Kanawha County octogenarian inducted into National Senior Softball Hall of Fame
Kanawha County octogenarian inducted into National Senior Softball Hall of Fame

Carl Nutter is still throwing heat, but at a bit slower pace.

New titles at the Putnam County Library
New titles at the Putnam County Library

FICTION

Abel, James, “White Plague”

Allen, Sarah, “First Frost”

Governor’s Highway Safety Program recognizes county individuals

On Thursday, Feb. 19, several Putnam County individuals were recognized for their service by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

River City Youth Ballet Ensemble presents ‘Piano Barre Gala’ March 7
River City Youth Ballet Ensemble presents ‘Piano Barre Gala’ March 7

A jazz-note-filled, melodiously noteworthy evening of fundraising to support the Kanawha City-headquartered River City Youth Ballet Ensemble is tuning up and coming to the capital city.