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Eric Douglas: No more broken hearts at Valentine’s Day
Eric Douglas: No more broken hearts at Valentine’s Day

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a few odd things about the way I’ve been feeling.

Roster set for Hurricane Red Hot show choir competition
Roster set for Hurricane Red Hot show choir competition

The Hurricane High School Red Hot Show Choir will host a competition of choirs from throughout the region at HHS on Saturday, Feb. 13.

CVB director declares candidacy for county commission seat
CVB director declares candidacy for county commission seat

Dusty Hurley, executive director of the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Putnam County Commission on Jan. 29.

AG office representative to conduct mobile office visits
AG office representative to conduct mobile office visits

Andrea Lannom, a consumer representative from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office, will conduct mobile office hours throughout Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties through this month.

Teays Valley cigar emporium to host free Super Bowl party
Teays Valley cigar emporium to host free Super Bowl party

Before the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos light up the scoreboard (with more than mutual zeroes over four quarters, one hopes) for Super Bowl 50 this weekend, you can light up a favorite cigar or tobacco pipe and cheer them on in a plush,...

Farmer’s Table: Fish and Corn Chowder
Farmer’s Table: Fish and Corn Chowder

Snowstorms put me in a cooking mode. I feel the best way to survive a blizzard is to cook my way through. There is no better way to take the chill off than to whip up a hearty chowder using ingredients on hand.

Adventure Advisory lists state getaways, Valentine’s Day packages in February
Adventure Advisory lists state getaways, Valentine’s Day packages in February

The Adventure Advisory, prepared and distributed by Wild, Wonderful West Virginia (GoToWV), highlights some of the many activities happening across the Mountain State. In February, these events include:

Eric Douglas: Don’t make the same mistake I did
Eric Douglas: Don’t make the same mistake I did

Entering the hospital, I passed a friend from church who was going home.

FOOTMAD to present students’ ‘Rising Stars’ Appalachian music concert at Culture Center
FOOTMAD to present students’ ‘Rising Stars’ Appalachian music concert at Culture Center

Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance’s “Rising Stars” concert is proof that the Applachian music scene continues to survive and evolve in the Mountain State, driven by the talent, energy and creativity of college students.

Area schools to take part in WVU Honors Bands Invitational

Nine marching bands from Kanawha and Putnam county high schools will head northward to make beautiful music together at the 37th annual Invitational High School Honor Bands event next week on West Virginia University’s Evansdale Campus.

City of Hurricane in search of summer interns

The City of Hurricane is seeking qualified candidates for summer internships.

Beagles, fly tying and more
Beagles, fly tying and more

Scenes from this year’s West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show Jan. 16 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Toyota bestows new car to state Teacher of the Year
Toyota bestows new car to state Teacher of the Year

On Jan. 14, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano, West Virginia Board of Education President Mike Green and representatives from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia and Highmark Blue Cross Blue...

Christian’s Sports Beat: Monster Jam comes to town
Christian’s Sports Beat: Monster Jam comes to town

Most of the time when I write this column it’s about physical sports, like soccer, running, football and baseball.

Retired Putnam teacher pens book on investing
Retired Putnam teacher pens book on investing

It’s a small book, but it contains a strategy for investing in the stock market that its author, Bill Hollis, says has been successful for him.

Farmer’s Table: Thai Green Curry
Farmer’s Table: Thai Green Curry

I was introduced to Thai cuisine when I was a student at Glenville State College. The school had five international students at the time and they were all from Thailand.

Eric Douglas: Sleeping through the winter
Eric Douglas: Sleeping through the winter

You would think it would be easy to get enough sleep this time of year. The nights are long. It’s cold out. It’s easy to snuggle under a blanket or your favorite Afghan and get some solid rest.

Students battle with bubble balls
Students battle with bubble balls

Having a day off from school, some Putnam County students had a ball during a day-long event held at Quantum Sports Center in Hurricane Jan. 15. This fun-filled activity is a recent addition to the sports center.

Eric Douglas: Leave it better than we found it
Eric Douglas: Leave it better than we found it

Not that everyone follows it, but there is a saying among scuba divers that we should take only pictures and leave only bubbles. One of the most frustrating things to see on a dive is trash that someone carelessly dropped overboard from a boat.

Scott Depot church to host prom for special needs people
Scott Depot church to host prom for special needs people

Church @ The Depot in Scott Depot will serve as one of the more than 100 churches around the world that will host Night to Shine proms simultaneously in mid-February.

Farmer’s Table: Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
Farmer’s Table: Sautéed Baby Bok Choy

Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is comprised of a cluster of leaves that are not compact like regular cabbage. The bulb-like portion on the bottom stays crisp when cooked. The dark green, leafy portion on top wilts and has a soft, silky...

First W.Va. Bike Summit to highlight multiple upsides of cycling
First W.Va. Bike Summit to highlight multiple upsides of cycling

Promoting power to the people by way of pedals, West Virginia Connecting Communities will host the inaugural West Virginia Bike Summit on Sunday, Jan. 24 and Monday, Jan. 25 at the Marriott Town Center in downtown Charleston.

Putnam County deer harvest up
Putnam County deer harvest up

Deer hunters in West Virginia made big strides during the two-week buck firearms season in 2015.

Farmer’s Table: Sautéed Pears with Bacon
Farmer’s Table: Sautéed Pears with Bacon

Pears are one of my favorite fall and winter fruits, and this is the time to take advantage of their availability at the supermarket.

Eric Douglas: Living up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy
Eric Douglas: Living up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

I was less than a year old on April 4, 1968, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

Christian’s Sports Beat: West Virginia Power warming up for 2016 season
Christian’s Sports Beat: West Virginia Power warming up for 2016 season

As I was getting ready for to call it a night recently, I heard my favorite baseball song, “Centerfield” by John Fogerty, and it gave me an idea for this column, with the West Virginia Power’s first game of the season less than...

Ballroom dance classes coming to Hurricane

Putnam County Parks and Recreation will host a four-week session of ballroom dance classes on Sundays in February.

Sweet Charity dessert competition returns Tuesday
Sweet Charity dessert competition returns Tuesday

Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley will hold its second annual Sweet Charity fundraising event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Columbia Pipeline Auditorium, 1700 MacCorkle Ave., Charleston.

Winfield candy shop a sweet tooth paradise
Winfield candy shop a sweet tooth paradise

A rainbow of colors and sweet aromas greet visitors to a new candy shop in Winfield called Bolts Sweet Shoppe.

2016 W.Va. International Auto Show roars into Charleston this month
2016 W.Va. International Auto Show roars into Charleston this month

The West Virginia International Auto Show takes over Charleston with hundreds of new model vehicles Friday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Jan. 24.

AEP supports food bank serving Putnam

For the second year in a row, American Electric Power employees raised money and collected food items to donate to the Facing Hunger Food Bank.

Eric Douglas: Peace be to you in 2016

One of my favorite bands, that you’ve probably never heard of, is called The Subdudes. Officially, The Subdudes are an American roots rock group from New Orleans. They play a blend of American folk, New Orleans rhythm and blues, cajun/zydeco,...

Farmer’s Table: Pistachios with Za’atar
Farmer’s Table: Pistachios with Za’atar

April Hamilton recently featured a za’atar chicken recipe in her weekly Gazette-Mail cooking column. This is a spice blend I keep on hand at all times, so I was delighted to find a new use for it.

Busy year in store for recreation in Hurricane
Busy year in store for recreation in Hurricane

Although it’s not yet a week old, 2016 has its social calendar well marked and planned already for residents and visitors to the city of Hurricane.

PWC acknowledges efforts to prevent underage drinking
PWC acknowledges efforts to prevent underage drinking

On Dec. 28, the Putnam Wellness Coalition recognized the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and the staff of the Little General Store #5102 in Hurricane for their efforts in keeping...

Hometown students donate food in ugly sweater contest
Hometown students donate food in ugly sweater contest

Readers’ Forum: Once again, elected officials wasting their time, our money
Readers’ Forum: Once again, elected officials wasting their time, our money

It comes to my attention that our elected officials are trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing once again.

Putnam County WVU Extension Service garden calendars available

The West Virginia University Extension Service’s 2016 garden calendar has tips and advice from expert growers.

Thankful Valley Farms offers grocery delivery to locals
Thankful Valley Farms offers grocery delivery to locals

Thankful Valley Farms in Leon is known for delivering its meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, but now that the Mason County operation has a retail and farmers market license, it can deliver supermarket items to your home or business.

Eric Douglas: The years get faster -- focus on the now
Eric Douglas: The years get faster -- focus on the now

Talking to my youngest daughter a few days before Christmas, I asked her if she was ready. She said she was, but then said she was a little scared, too.

Farmer’s Table: Amaretto Spiced Cider
Farmer’s Table: Amaretto Spiced Cider

Apple cider is a seasonally produced, unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. It is more opaque and a bit tangier than apple juice. It is the state beverage of New Hampshire.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Marshall University’s ‘Rudy’
Christian’s Sports Beat: Marshall University’s ‘Rudy’

One of the most popular sports movies ever made was “Rudy,” a story about a walk-on football player at Notre Dame.

FOOTMAD hosting New Year’s Eve party

Ready for a new year? The Kanawha Valley Friends of Old Time Music and Dance is welcoming 2016 with “Good Rid-Dance 2015.”

Eric Douglas: Yes, West Virginia, there is...
Eric Douglas: Yes, West Virginia, there is...

Every writer I know (myself included), whether they admit it or not, thinks about their legacy. They hope to create something that will live forever, something that high school kids will have to diagram and analyze, learning to hate us forever…...

Hurricane entrepreneur wins InnovateHER competition
Hurricane entrepreneur wins InnovateHER competition

A Putnam County entrepreneur is the winner of the Small Business Administration’s local InnovateHER competition hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing.

W.Va. Bike Summit bound for Charleston

Registration is open for the West Virginia Bike Summit, scheduled for Jan. 24 and 25 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

The Serendipity in Teays Valley offers quality baked goods under new ownership
The Serendipity in Teays Valley offers quality baked goods under new ownership

It’s still dark outside when Mindy Ferrell arrives for work in the pre-dawn hours, but she wouldn’t trade her job for anything else.

Farmer’s Table: Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Doughnuts
Farmer’s Table: Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Doughnuts

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration in Fairmont. The celebration is held annually on the second weekend in December.

Wellness Coalition, Family Resource Network bestow recognition awards
Wellness Coalition, Family Resource Network bestow recognition awards

During a holiday celebration meeting Dec. 11 at the EMS location in Winfield, the Putnam Wellness Coalition and Putnam Family Resource Network recognized nine individuals that went over and above the call of duty to help Putnam County be a better...

Seven state parks hosting New Year’s Eve celebrations

West Virginia state parks have become popular places to bring in the New Year and they will offer a variety of dinners and dances and packaged options to close out 2015.

Area artists among 2015 W.Va. Juried Exhibition winners
Area artists among 2015 W.Va. Juried Exhibition winners

Artists from Huntington, Morgantown and Wheeling won the top prizes in the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 19th West Virginia Juried Exhibition, which opened on Nov. 8 at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in Beckley.

Eric Douglas: Winter solstice a step in the right direction
Eric Douglas: Winter solstice a step in the right direction

Next week brings the most important day of the year for me. It is a holiday celebrated around the world.

Farmer’s Table: Polish Poppy Seed Rolls
Farmer’s Table: Polish Poppy Seed Rolls

After I married my husband, I looked forward to receiving packages from his parents at Easter and Christmas time. The contents were always the same: a walnut roll and a poppy seed roll made by the ladies at The Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in Weirton.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Catching up with a friend
Christian’s Sports Beat: Catching up with a friend

There is a chance in the near future that baseball fans in the region will be able to root for a homegrown player.

Ringing in the wreaths
Ringing in the wreaths

Putnam County Master Gardeners and the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department sponsored their annual holiday wreath-making workshop Thursday evening, Dec. 3, at Valley Park, Hurricane.

Kanawha, Putnam pooches reign at annual Reindog Parade

The Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission would like to thank everyone who participated in the 14th annual Reindog Parade held at Valley Park on Dec. 5.

Retired MU professor pens forensic psychology book
Retired MU professor pens forensic psychology book

A new book by a retired Marshall University psychology professor explores the darker side of human behavior, while also serving as a primer in the field of forensic psychology.

W.Va. Wild Sled Hockey team off and sliding at Memorial Ice Arena
W.Va. Wild Sled Hockey team off and sliding at Memorial Ice Arena

The air was chilly, the ice was cold and the excitement was building as members of the West Virginia Wild Sled Hockey team arrived for a Monday evening practice session at the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena.

Holiday coat drive continues through Friday at auto dealerships, newspaper
Holiday coat drive continues through Friday at auto dealerships, newspaper

For approximately 15 years, the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association and Charleston Newspapers have partnered to sponsor a yearly holiday coat drive for those in need of warm, durable outerwear in winter.

Farmer’s Table: Venison Roast
Farmer’s Table: Venison Roast

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, more than 350,000 hunters take to the state’s woods during deer hunting season.

Putnam 4-H hosts holiday craft workshop
Putnam 4-H hosts holiday craft workshop

They came, they cut, they glued and they ate cookies.

Eric Douglas: Merry Christmas -- and watch your credit cards
Eric Douglas: Merry Christmas -- and watch your credit cards

On Black Friday, the supposed biggest shopping day of the year (which actually turned out to be Cyber Monday rather than Black Friday, making this even more relevant), I woke up to an email telling me that my credit card company noticed...

Goldenseal magazine subscriptions available for holiday shoppers
Goldenseal magazine subscriptions available for holiday shoppers

Looking for that perfect holiday gift?

Look no further. Goldenseal magazine is a great solution to your last-minute gift-giving needs and offers hours of reading enjoyment with stories about West Virginia traditional life.

NO School Spirits PSA contest underway

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration is soliciting entries for the third annual NO School Spirits Public Service Announcement contest, open to high school students throughout the state.

Antiques, local crafts featured at Forgotten Treasures
Antiques, local crafts featured at Forgotten Treasures

Treasures from a bygone era and future heirlooms, handcrafted by area artisans, can be found in a new shop in Winfield.

Extension Service shares ATV safety tips
Extension Service shares ATV safety tips

As the use of all-terrain and utility-task vehicles reaches its yearly peak, so does the number of preventable ATV accidents and fatalities occurring in West Virginia, according to West Virginia University Extension Service Mingo County 4-H Agent Mark...

Nitro officials looking to renovate city park; plans include ball fields for travel teams
Nitro officials looking to renovate city park; plans include ball fields for travel teams

Looking to a future of increased tourism and recreational opportunities, Nitro city officials are pondering a major upgrade to Nitro City Park.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Grinding out a winter run
Christian’s Sports Beat: Grinding out a winter run

Runners throughout the area are getting ready for running in the cold winter as the temperature has started to drop. It’s a time of the year when runners have to convince themselves to train when the weather is a bit chilly.

Eric Douglas: Traditions signal the season
Eric Douglas: Traditions signal the season

One of my stronger Christmas memories comes from a time when I was alone.

Farmer’s Table: Pistachio Cheesecake
Farmer’s Table: Pistachio Cheesecake

My hometown had a corner newsstand. I am among those who sentimentalize its closing. Local businessmen made it their first morning stop to pick up a copy of the East Liverpool Review or Pittsburgh Press.

Tri-County YMCA and Putnam schools offer after-school STEM learning program
Tri-County YMCA and Putnam schools offer after-school STEM learning program

The Tri-County YMCA has begun a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative in four Putnam County Elementary Schools this school year.

UUC to host 13th annual River Arts Show and Sale

Featuring 25 West Virginia artists, the13th River Arts Show and Sale will take place this week at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Charleston’s West Side.

Two Poca High athletes sign letters of intent to attend UC
Two Poca High athletes sign letters of intent to attend UC

On Monday, Nov. 16, Poca High School’s library was decorated in maroon and gold, which are the school colors of the University of Charleston.

CLOG to present ‘A Christmas Story’
CLOG to present ‘A Christmas Story’

The Charleston Light Opera Guild will produce the musical version of a holiday favorite film, “A Christmas Story.”

4-H holiday craft workshop, cookie exchange set for Eleanor
4-H holiday craft workshop, cookie exchange set for Eleanor

The annual 4-H Holiday Craft Workshop and Cookie Exchange will be held this year from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Eleanor Fire House’s upstairs room in Eleanor.

Tri-County YMCA to provide free community Thanksgiving Day workouts
Tri-County YMCA to provide free community Thanksgiving Day workouts

Call it a pre-emptive strike against a cavalcade of calories to be served and savored on Thanksgiving Day (and possibly regretted heavily around the waistline thereafter).

Foster care group seeks families
Foster care group seeks families

There are children throughout the area that come from homes riddled with drug and alcohol addiction, abuse and a number of other problems.

Best Christmas ever: Local couple opens home to foster children
Best Christmas ever: Local couple opens home to foster children

Josh and Chloe Loudermilk’s home in South Charleston is a lively place.

Farmer’s Table: Bloomin’ Apples
Farmer’s Table: Bloomin’ Apples

I grew up in West Virginia’s northernmost county. The area is well known for manufacturing steel and pottery, but there was a time when Hancock County, which is the state’s smallest county, was known for its apple production. The apples...

Eric Douglas: Take time to be thankful, in spite of the world
Eric Douglas: Take time to be thankful, in spite of the world

Recent events around the world, and at home, have made a lot of people bitter, confused and angry. There is violence and terror. It feels like evil is taking over and innocent people are dying at the hands of religious zealots. At a time like this, it...

Alum Creek artist designs 2015 Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament
Alum Creek artist designs 2015 Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament

First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin unveiled the 2015 West Virginia Governor’s Mansion limited-edition holiday ornament, the sixth in the series of her annual holiday ornament collection, on Nov. 4.

Tri-County YMCA and Putnam schools offer after-school STEM learning program
Tri-County YMCA and Putnam schools offer after-school STEM learning program

The Tri-County YMCA has begun a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative in four Putnam County Elementary Schools this school year.

Christian’s Sports Beat: Hard work pays off for pair of area soccer teams
Christian’s Sports Beat: Hard work pays off for pair of area soccer teams

To win one state championship is pretty tough, but to win two or four can be incredibly difficult.

‘Books & Brews’ opens in Hurricane
‘Books & Brews’ opens in Hurricane

Good books and even better coffee are the hallmarks of a new, family-owned business on Main Street in Hurricane.

Farmer’s Table: Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops
Farmer’s Table: Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops

There are several great pork producers in the Metro area, so it is not difficult to obtain quality cuts of pork.

Eric Douglas: Taking an extra week to be thankful
Eric Douglas: Taking an extra week to be thankful

Maybe it’s just the political season or maybe it’s the encroachment of Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving, but I feel the need to be extra thankful this year.

Marshall theatre department to perform ‘A Christmas Carol’
Marshall theatre department to perform ‘A Christmas Carol’

Marshall University’s School of Music and Theatre continues its 2015-2016 theatre season with a production of the classic Charles Dickens work “A Christmas Carol” in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall’s...

KVRA hosting Christmas model train open house

The Kanawha Valley Railroad Association will present its 2015 Christmas Model Train Open House in November and December at Coonskin Park.

Area marching bands receive honors at Charleston invitational
Area marching bands receive honors at Charleston invitational

From Staff Reports

Nearly three dozen high school bands from around the Mountain State showcased their talents in the fourth annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational Oct . 24 at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field.

State juried exhibition opens at Tamarack

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History opened its biennial exhibition, the West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2015, on Sunday, Nov. 8, at Tamarack The Best of West Virginia in Beckley.

Farmer’s Table: Strozzapreti with Kale and Andouille
Farmer’s Table: Strozzapreti with Kale and Andouille

I do some of my grocery shopping at Putnam County discount stores. During October, I was able to stock up on German and Italian products. I found mustards, cookies, meats and assorted pastas that are often difficult to obtain locally.

Veterans Day all year long
Veterans Day all year long

I’m not a veteran. Frankly, that was just one of the many things veterans gave me: the ability to choose my path.

MU Foundation establishes scholarship in honor of late journalist
MU Foundation establishes scholarship in honor of late journalist

Beginning in the spring of 2017, Marshall University’s College of Arts and Media will award the C. Bosworth “Bos” Johnson Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late journalist, Marshall alumnus and professor.

Wreath-making class coming to Hurricane

The Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department and the Master Gardeners will sponsor a wreath-making class at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Valley Park Community Center located at Valley (Wave Pool) Park in Hurricane.

Putnam County Library seeks to grow ‘Friends’
Putnam County Library seeks to grow ‘Friends’

Under its new director, the Putnam County Library system is charting a course for the future that includes a stronger support group of “Friends.”

Buffalo, Hurricane announce Christmas parade dates

While it’s currently beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving, a turn to the next calendar page indicates the yuletide season draws ever nearer.