Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To efforts such as the Rachel’s Challenge anti-bullying program, meant to help our kids tackle challenges that also include suicide and school violence. “The idea is you are accepting Rachel’s challenge to be a better person,” said Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss. Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. “We’re very excited to have this program at PHS and I think it will help the culture at PHS.”

UP: To a reminder from the Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia that — as the state begins its expansion into sports betting — the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline is available; and the organization will host a free weekend workshop for problem gamblers and their loved ones Nov. 16-18 at Pipestem State Park. “We bring in some of the most well-known treatment specialists in the country and give participants free access to their expertise. There is also great value in just getting to know other people from across the state who are dealing with the same issue,” said Jennifer Davis-Walton, program director.

UP: To Jackson County’s Hunter Family Farm, which is a finalist for West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year. Luke and Mitsy Hunter raise a variety of livestock and produce on their land, and have reworked stream banks to prevent soil erosion and provide safe farming operations; installed miles of fencing, rotating cattle through 16 fields to prevent over-grazing; and planted trees and added cover crops to their cornfield, which reduces the amount of fertilizer needed. Well done, folks.

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