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Column: A coal poem

In the fall of 1990, as the United States prepared for the first Gulf War, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper in Matewan.

Third annual W.Va. Marching Band Invitational Saturday

On Saturday, Oct. 25, 34 high school marching bands from across the state will gather in Charleston for the third annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston scheduled for Oct. 25
Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston scheduled for Oct. 25

The 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s -- Charleston fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25.

New Hope Animal Rescue sponsoring annual Halloween costume contest

Frightening or funny, it’s costume time for your favorite four-legged friend.

‘Monster Run’ part of Nitro’s Fest-For-All Halloween activities

In a foot race, fear is a great motivator.

For competitors in this Saturday’s inaugural 5K Monster Run in Nitro, having a variety of ghouls hot on their heels, will no doubt contribute to some record-setting finishing times.

Column: A century of service and counting

By Channing Persinger

A few weeks ago, I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of the Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Kanawha Players’ ‘The Evil Dead -- The Musical’ opens Friday
Kanawha Players’ ‘The Evil Dead -- The Musical’ opens Friday

The Kanawha Players will debut its 2014 public performances of “The Evil Dead -- The Musical” on Friday, Oct. 17, at the KP Theater, 309 Beauregard St. on Charleston’s East End.

Rock and gem show/sale this weekend in South Charleston

Searching for that unique gift for someone or looking for the opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping?

Nitro disabilities advocate, others create unique emergency-response app
Nitro disabilities advocate, others create unique emergency-response app

Clear communication can be a life-or-death matter in emergency response during a time of crisis. An employee of the Appalachian Center for Independent Living in Big Chimney and others have created an innovative, modern-day way to improve the odds for...

KPCC named W.Va. Counseling Center of the Year
KPCC named W.Va. Counseling Center of the Year

The West Virginia Counselors Association has awarded the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center West Virginia Counseling Center of the Year distinction for 2014.

A Hero’s SALUTE! fundraiser to benefit state veterans
A Hero’s SALUTE! fundraiser to benefit state veterans

A time machine needn’t be your mode of travel to salute (and support) West Virginia’s military veterans this month. It just may seem like it. (You’ll actually have to use a shuttle service.)

Charleston native to offer lecture, book-signing this week
Charleston native to offer lecture, book-signing this week

Taylor Books will host a free book-signing and reception for the recently published short story collection, “Ladies in Low Places,” by Charleston native and South Carolina author Mary Ann Henry, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10.

Column: October is Pink Ribbon Month
Column: October is Pink Ribbon Month

Last year, at the beginning of October, this column included the first of a series of articles about Jean Hanna Davis and her struggle with breast cancer and chemotherapy for the second time in 10 years. Hoping to inspire other women in the same...

Faith in Action oversees volunteer caregiving services in Kanawha, Putnam counties
Faith in Action oversees volunteer caregiving services in Kanawha, Putnam counties

A nonprofit, interfaith ministry launching officially this week, Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley provides an array of free services to elderly and disabled residents of Kanawha and Putnam counties, based on the availability of volunteer...

ATVs, UTVs give hunters easier access
ATVs, UTVs give hunters easier access

Over the years, ATVs and UTVs have become an important tool for hunters across the region.

Buffalo High FFA students ready for national competition

As members of the Buffalo High School Chapter of the Future Farmers of America begin their third year of existence as the only FFA chapter in Putnam County, it’s important to recognize how much they have accomplished in so little time.

Touching up the trail: Mary Ingles Trail gets needed maintenance
Touching up the trail: Mary Ingles Trail gets needed maintenance

At twilight, Bob Weiford can stand on a small field overlooking his property near Winfield and imagine the glow of campfires, the laughter and the conversations that came every September from a primitive encampment next to his house.

Learning fun and safety
Learning fun and safety

Samera Nance smiled with glee as another metal target went down.

‘The heart of your community’
‘The heart of your community’

For more than 20 years, the Tri-County YMCA has been an important part of the Putnam County community, offering programs benefiting mind and body.

Putnam book club selects fall reading list

At its first fall meeting Sept. 16, the St John United Methodist Church Book Club chose the following books to read and discuss:

Rotarians donate back packs to Poca Elementary
Rotarians donate back packs to Poca Elementary

The Putnam Rotary Club delivered back packs loaded with school supplies for students at Poca Elementary School on Sept. 16.

Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk set at Coonskin
Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk set at Coonskin

The Charleston Regional Spay Neuter Center has announced the launch of its inaugural Fix ‘Em 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk fall fundraiser.

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana with the Creoles during the early 18th century. Louisiana Creoles descended from the colonial settlers of French, Spanish and African descent.

Educating young -- and young-at-heart -- hunters
Educating young -- and young-at-heart -- hunters

For many West Virginians, fall hunting season is like Christmas, Thanksgiving and their best childhood birthdays all rolled into one.

Buffalo Octoberfest slated for Oct. 18

The 27th annual Buffalo Octoberfest will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 in Buffalo, one mile north of the Toyota plant.

Going strong at 72
Going strong at 72

A hiking club that began in 1942 is still motivating adventurous souls to get out and commune with nature.

Elkview Baptist Church to host On Target 3D Archery program
Elkview Baptist Church to host On Target 3D Archery program

Archers who may be itching for a wilderness experience, yet one not so far off the beaten path, are invited to visit Elkview Baptist Church for a 3D hunting opportunity to hone or refresh their bowstring-pulling skills.

The Butchmeister: I’m a Strat-O-Matic Baseball nerd
The Butchmeister: I’m a Strat-O-Matic Baseball nerd

I’m a nerd.

No, I’m not one of those that would suffer humiliation through high school (well, maybe a little) only to later form a multi-million-dollar Internet startup.

Zucchini Corn Pancakes
Zucchini Corn Pancakes

Homegrown zucchini and corn have no competition in the supermarket. Even with imperfections, they definitely taste better than their perfect, store-bought counterparts.

Taking school health care on the road
Taking school health care on the road

Family Care of Putnam County has introduced a new tool to help with the medical needs of schoolchildren and educators across the county.

Leslie Lumber making a transition
Leslie Lumber making a transition

Lumber has been in the Leslie family genes for a long time.

Winfield High graduate receives Rotary scholarship
Winfield High graduate receives Rotary scholarship

Winfield High School graduate Cheyenne Faith Carpenter received a Rotary scholarship to West Virginia University from the Putnam Rotary on Aug. 12.

Buffalo Octoberfest: 27 years and still growing

It has been 27 years since the Buffalo Octoberfest began as a small, community event on the grounds of what was once the largest general store this side of the Mississippi River.

Beehive Beauty Room brings quiet comfort in relaxed atmosphere
Beehive Beauty Room brings quiet comfort in relaxed atmosphere

Kelly Mangus was looking to create a comfortable, homey atmosphere when she opened the Beehive Beauty Room earlier this year on Teays Valley Road, near Hurricane.

Gazette-Mail Outdoor Pursuits: Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour Saturday takes in scenic routes in Putnam County
Gazette-Mail Outdoor Pursuits: Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour Saturday takes in scenic routes in Putnam County

Hardy cyclists with a penchant for pedaling and climbing hills will find plenty of both in this weekend’s annual Bridge to Ridge Bicycle Tour in Putnam County.

Editor’s Desk: Time to huddle up with high school football
Editor’s Desk: Time to huddle up with high school football

Fall is almost a month away, according to the calendar, but one of the sure signs that summer days are waning is the start of high school football season, which kicked off last weekend.

MU opens new academic support resource center
MU opens new academic support resource center

Marshall University celebrated the grand opening of the Towers Learning Center, a new academic support resource for students, with a ribbon cutting Aug. 26 in the Twin Towers East lobby on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

Applications being accepted for Putnam Master Gardener program

The West Virginia University Extension Service in Putnam County is accepting applications for the 2014 Putnam County Master Gardener Program, a service organization.

Youths honored for summer reading success
Youths honored for summer reading success

The Putnam County Library Summer Reading Program, “Fizz, Boom, Read,” concluded another popular year with the awarding of prizes recently.

Pick a peck of poblano peppers
Pick a peck of poblano peppers

Poblano peppers are one of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico. They are large, somewhat heart-shaped, dark, shiny green chile peppers used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking.

BridgeValley CTC to offer certified personal trainer instruction

BridgeValley Community and Technical College has an upcoming class to train people to become a nationally certified personal fitness trainer.

Taking a bite out of crime
Taking a bite out of crime

With an extra spring in his step, Rich White took off running across a field near Valley Park in Hurricane. In hot pursuit was Bella, a heat-seeking missile of a police dog intent on catching him.

Old Winfield Town Hall razed
Building opened in 1940s for town’s water treatment facilities
Old Winfield Town Hall razed Building opened in 1940s for town’s water treatment facilities

The Winfield Town Hall was built in the 1940s and would expand over time.

Foster care program NECCO sponsoring first-time golf scramble
Foster care program NECCO sponsoring first-time golf scramble

Area therapeutic foster care company NECCO will host its first golf scramble on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Little Creek Golf Course in Charleston.

The Butchmeister: Marshall looks at new-look Conference USA for rivals

When the Marshall University football team takes the field this season, they will be competing in a conference nowhere near the one they joined in 2005.

Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup
Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup

Four years ago, I purchased a packet of Italian tomato seeds at an Italian grocery store in Steubenville, Ohio. I’d forgotten about them until this year.

Cupcake Festival coming to Hurricane

Tasty treats are coming to Hurricane on Saturday, Sept. 6, and the proceeds from the confection convention, going toward a worthy cause, are simply icing on the (cup)cake.

Scott Depot Christ Fellowship serves God, community as ‘The Depot’
Scott Depot Christ Fellowship serves God, community as ‘The Depot’

Under the leadership of a self-confessed, former atheist, Scott Depot Christ Fellowship has grown into one of Putnam County’s largest churches, in physical and spiritual size.

Kanawha State Forest hosts first enduro bike race
Kanawha State Forest hosts first enduro bike race

It is said that what goes up, must come down.

When it comes to the enduro, a kind of a mix of downhill and cross country mountain bicycle racing that is becoming more popular in the United States, truer words were never spoken.

On Aug. 9,...

Appalachian Children’s Chorus expanding into Putnam County
Appalachian Children’s Chorus expanding into Putnam County

The 24-year-old, Charleston-based Appalachian Children’s Chorus is increasing its outreach, presence and volume (by more than one definition of the word) into Putnam County in coming weeks.

The new Putnam County Choir will be open to boys...

Putnam County Master Gardener Program accepting applications

The West Virginia University Extension Service in Putnam County is accepting applications for the 2014 Putnam County Master Gardener Program.

The program consists of a volunteer training course designed to provide experienced home gardeners with...

Fennel Vichyssoise
Fennel Vichyssoise

I like to introduce farmers market customers to “new” items. I recently harvested several bulbs of fennel, which seemed to interest a lot of people. However, I couldn’t convince a single person to buy a bulb. It is one of those...

Poca food pantry offers material support to those in need
Poca food pantry offers material support to those in need

The reasons for the need can be many, but the resources may be seemingly few for certain Putnam County residents.

Food, personal hygiene products, such as soap, toothpaste, and shampoo, or basic household items, such as cleaning supplies, may...

Hurricane performing arts studio receives Red Wagon Award
Hurricane performing arts studio receives Red Wagon Award

Founder of Arts in Action Joni Cantrell couldn’t have been more surprised and thrilled to hear the news that her Hurricane-based performing arts school, Arts in Action, was this year’s recipient of West Virginia’s Promise...

Editor’s Desk: Images from abroad

Got a call from a well-known Putnam County personality the other day.

Bill Ellis of Scott Depot rang to say how much he enjoyed the Readers’ Gallery in Metro Putnam (it also runs in our Kanawha Valley Neighbors sections). Each week, the...

Hurricane performing arts studio receives Red Wagon Award
Hurricane performing arts studio receives Red Wagon Award

Founder of Arts in Action Joni Cantrell couldn’t have been more surprised and thrilled to hear the news that her Hurricane-based performing arts school, Arts in Action, was this year’s recipient of West Virginia’s Promise...

4-H sponsoring frozen food sale

Do you know that you can get the best buys on frozen fruits, meat, vegetables and appetizers while at the same time supporting the Putnam County 4-H program?

The Putnam County 4-H Leaders Association, in cooperation with Wilson’s Zero...

Electronics recycling day planned in Winfield

The Putnam County Solid Waste Authority will conduct an electronics recycling day at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield later this month.

Recyclable items will be accepted at the courthouse from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug.

Monsanto lawsuit settlement finalized

Thomas V. Flaherty, of the Nitro Class Action Settlement Administrators, LLC, the court-appointed administrator of the Monsanto Nitro Class Action, opened an office in Nitro on July 8.

The settlement will provide benefits for people who owned...

Active Medical LLC in Hurricane provides mobility solutions, expert care
Active Medical LLC in Hurricane provides mobility solutions, expert care

Helping people stay mobile and independent in spite of medical conditions is just one of the new Active Medical LLC’s specialties.

The locally owned home medical equipment company opened earlier this year at 3475 Teays Valley Road,...

Teen writes political thriller with faith-based message
Teen writes political thriller with faith-based message

Not many teenagers are writing books at age 14, especially not political fiction.

Joshua Higginbotham, though, has written has three such novels, the first one when he was 14. Having just turned 18, Higginbotham’s latest book,...

Cucumber Kimchee
Cucumber Kimchee

This is the time of year when we have too much produce. When I stumbled upon a recipe for Cucumber Kimchee, I was ecstatic, because I could use up some of the cucumbers I’d harvested in a new and different manner.

Kimchee is a spicy,...

Ribfest sizzles into Shawnee Park this month
Ribfest sizzles into Shawnee Park this month

Several seasoned, world-class chefs will be doing far, far more than just blowing smoke in and around Dunbar in a few days.

That impending, smoky, sizzling haze over Shawnee Park, located between Institute and Dunbar on W.Va. 25, will be a...

Summer Squash makes tasty dish from garden favorites
Summer Squash makes tasty dish from garden favorites

The ripe fruits and vegetables in our garden often inspire our summer meals. There is no need to go to the grocery store when every thing needed for a healthy meal is right outside the back door.

Some crops are always more prolific than others,...

Anytime Fitness sponsoring 5K run/walk

Anytime Fitness will sponsor a 5K run/walk to help an area couple with medical treatment costs for their 1-month-old daughter.

The 5K event will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at the University of Charleston.

The entry fee is $25 per...

‘Back to School Blast’ bound for Eleanor; backpacks to be distributed

The Putnam County Schools Title I program will have its annual “Back to School Blast” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, at the Putnam County Career and Technical Center in Eleanor.

Community members will be providing...

Annual state Church of God camp meeting Sunday
Annual state Church of God camp meeting Sunday

With its proclaimed theme of “Identity,” the annual West Virginia State Camp Meeting of the Church of God will get underway at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, and continue through Friday, Aug. 8.

The camp meeting will be held at the...

Putnam Rotary to host 19th annual golf tournament

For the 19th year, the Rotary Club of Putnam County will host a fundraising afternoon of fun in the sun (hopefully) for golfers next month.

The 19th annual Putnam Rotary Golf Tournament will be played at Little Creek Country Club in South...

EKG/ECG training course offered at BridgeValley CTC

BridgeValley Community and Technical College will offer an EKG/ECG Technician Certification Training course that will prepare students to function as EKG technicians and to take the American Society of Phlebotomy Technician’s Electrocardiograph...

Annual 25177 Foundation golf outing Aug. 9 at Big Bend

The 11th Annual 25177 Foundation Golf Outing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9 at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado.

This two-person scramble golf outing will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $75 per golfer or $150 for a...

Tri-County YMCA’s Wild Waves swim team gearing up for fall season
Tri-County YMCA’s Wild Waves swim team gearing up for fall season

The swimming pool at the Tri-County YMCA is ready for some waves -- some Wild Waves, that is.

The Tri-County YMCA’s Wild Waves swim team is getting ready for its fall season, which starts in early September. Wild Waves Coach Phil Berry...

A ‘blue collar artist’
A ‘blue collar artist’

Susan Tschantz describes herself a “blue collar artist,” a woman whose natural art talent was honed in trade school, rather than a school of fine arts.

The Scott Depot resident’s artworks will be on display in August at Main...

Paws & Shop Thrift Store in Hurricane plans open house
Paws & Shop Thrift Store in Hurricane plans open house

The Paws & Shop Thrift Store in downtown Hurricane wants to say “thank you” to its many loyal customers, whose shopping dollars go toward New Hope Animal Rescue’s mission of building a no-kill animal shelter and other...