County of Champions!

GOOD PEOPLE DOING FUN THINGS FOR THE KIDS. I had the opportunity to do time keeping at a swim meet at North Hills Swimming Club. It was a new experience for me…and fun. Thank you Paula Enoch Oliphant for the invitation. It was good to see so many young athletes competing. As a County Commissioner, we regularly had sports teams in from the “County of Champions” to recognize their achievements. Just as we said when we dedicated the Swisher Monument at city park…you can be a singing star….sports star…..whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it…even if you are from Wood County or West Virginia. Nick and Steve Swisher, Kathy Mattea, and Brad Paisley are perfect examples. North Hills Swimming Club was also home to Tim Phillips… a swimming star who is actually doing Olympic Trials as we speak (type)…..so good job to all the athletes tonight..and all the parents and grand-parents for rooting them on…..RICKPOOL

GOOD THINGS/HOUSE TO HOME

GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS. Had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual benefit for HOUSE TO HOME. A very good organization trying to do good things for our community. Organizations, such as this, and volunteerism, are very important elements of local communities. THANK YOU to all the volunteers of this organization and those who came out to support them. My friend Rob Fouss, local auctioneer, was on hand to do a live auction (he caught me waiving to someone…and I bought something LOL)housetohome

Mid Ohio Valley Work Camp SPECIAL!

This week we have many special young people in the Mid Ohio Valley doing God’s work. The Mid Ohio Valley Work Camp is sponsored by local Churches of Christ. Young people from all over the east coast come to our area and help paint houses that are owned by folks who might not have the physical or financial ability to paint their homes. I first became aware of the project back when I was in the House of Delegates through my friend Chris Miller. I went to one of the first services at the church in Belpre. It was very up-lifting. The project has grown and grown…it is WONDERFUL. When I last served on the County Commission, we became a sponsor and helped with the project. This week I stopped at one of the houses where these young people were working and delivered cases of water and gater-aid. They kids were so nice, friendly and thankful for the visit. I commend those who have organized this in our community….thank all of the kids for coming out and doing this work (each young person actually has to pay $85 to be a volunteer…thus they are totally invested with heart..mind..soul…and money) and thankful that the County Commission has continued as a sponsor. If given the opportunity to serve again, this is the type of private-public-government relationships that are meaningful, help those in need, and I will continue to support. God bless all those involved!workcamp1

NEW DEVELOPMENT ON THE WAY

An FYI moment ! Today I was asked several times about a meeting yesterday regarding the development of Fort Boreman Hill.Apparently there were news reports and TV reports that I was seen in. Thus….. As you may remember, when I served on the Wood County Commission the county secured and developed from scratch Fort Boreman Historical Park. The adjoining land was owned by the McDonough Company. Last year, local businessman and developer Pat Minnite aka The PM Company purchased the land.. To get to the point, I participated in a focus group to help identify what might be best developed at Fort Boreman. Several business people and community leaders were there and offered ideas. Anyone who knows Pat and his company knows that they are first class developers and will do all due diligence in an effort to develop the best possible project not only for their company…but for our community. This land is in no better hands than the PM Company. This was an educational, informational type of meeting to brain-storm. I was honored to be allowed to participate with such folks as the Mayor of Belpre, the Mayor of Vienna, the Wood County Development Director, the Tourism Director, the Chamber of Commerce, and other business and community leaders. Any information on the meetings and discussions will eventually come from the good folks at the PM Company, who I have confidence in. I am excited to see what they decide to build! I am excited to see the area around the Fort Boreman Park developed. I am excited for NEW development and business opportunities for our area. Thank you PM Company for allowing me to participate! I look forward to the time when there is a ribbon cutting of something exciting for our community!pmco2

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEST VIRGINIA

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEST VIRGINIA! 153 YEARS OLD (really doesn’t look a day over 140 🙂 lol.)….In any event….here is a little history…West Virginia is one of two American states formed during the American Civil War (1861–1865), along with Nevada, and is the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state. It was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (1607–1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (1776–1863), whose population became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and in the separation from Virginia, formalized by admittance to the Union as a new state in 1863. West Virginia was one of the Civil War Border states.

West Virginia’s history was profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, spectacular river valleys, and rich natural resources. These were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of residents, as well as drawing visitors to the “Mountain State” in the early 21st century.

Whereas, by the Act of Congress approved the 31st. day of December, last, the State of West Virginia was declared to be one of the United States of America, and was admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, upon the condition that certain changes should be duly made in the proposed Constitution for that State;
And, whereas, proof of a compliance with that condition as required by the Second Section of the Act aforesaid, has been submitted to me;

Now, therefore, be it known, that I Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do, hereby, in pursuance of the Act of Congress aforesaid, declare and proclaim that the said act shall take effect and be in force, from and after sixty days from the date hereof.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Sixty days later, on June 20, 1863, in accordance with the terms of this proclamation. West Virginia entered the Union. As stated in the beginning of this paper, it was the 35th state of the nation, and the first one to enter during the administration of President Lincoln.rickwvdaybb

TOURISM AS ECONOMIC TOOL$

TOURISM: Sights and sounds from around Wood County this weekend will indicate tourism is alive and well in Wood County. TOURISM is a huge economic engine for our area and for West Virginia, even more so today with the decline of the coal industry. As your previous Commissioner I always supported tourism opportunities, such as fairs, festivals, Henderson Hall, OIL  & Gas Museum, Sumner Museum, Veterans Museum, Mountwood Park, Julian Square Historic District, Blennerhassett Museum & State Park,Fenton Glass, and the creation of Fort Boreman Park. If I return to the Wood County Commission, I will continue to support any effort that will increase tourism opportunities for Wood County…….tourismhall

Music..food.more from around world

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Spent time tonight at the Multi Cultural Festival at Parkersburg City Park. PERFECT weather. Lots of exhibits. Lots of unique foods. Lots of unique music from around the world. If you want to see sights, smells, listen to music, and eat food from around the world….you should check it out. It is one of the premier festivals in West Virginia, which in fact brings lots of tourism dollars to Wood County. Thank you to all of the volunteers who work year round to make this event special !!! It runs through Sunday..check it out!!!

Good people …doing good things!

I attended an anti drug program tonight at St Johns United Methodist Church in Vienna tonight.  It featured speakers Steve Stephens, our soon to be Sheriff; Rick Woodyard 911/EOS Director; and local Realtor Larry Fought.  They spoke of the problem in Wood County. They spoke on how to recognize and to help those who are addicted.  They are passionate about trying to help fix this problem.   The problem is severe.  It is going to take social services; counselors, police, criminal justice system, friends, families and the faith based community to tackle this problem.   A few days ago I filed a Freedom of Information Request to the Department of Health and Human Services asking for the number of overdose deaths that have occurred in Wood County in the past 5 years (2011 to 2015) ……the numbers are shocking…a total of 106 people dead due to drugs.    2001 = 19  /  2012 = 18  / 2013 = 18  / 2014 = 26 and 2015 = 25.   ….these are just in Wood County….our families..neighbors…. co workers…..Hopefully, we can get a handle on this and take our communities back from drug dealers…. I salute Larry Fought, Steve Stephens and Rick Woodyard for giving of themselves to help fight this scurge in our communities.drugs3

PRAYERS FOR ORLANDO

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Around 2am this morning we once again saw hate as a terrorist launched an attack in Orlando FL killing 50 and wounding more. First and foremost, thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their life, their family and friends. According to news accounts, first responders confronted and killed the lone gunman. Much thanks and appreciation go out to all first responders for their efforts. As a former Police Officer, I think it is safe to say we are living in dangerous and uncharted times. Events like this can happen anywhere ….at anytime…… as citizens we must be vigilant and help our local law enforcement officers by being eyes and ears for anything unusual or suspicious ….please remember…if you SEE SOMETHING…SAY SOMETHING….by doing so, you will help keep Wood County safe. God bless Orlando and the victims of this terrible event.