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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Williamstown Mayor Jean Ford, who, after more than 23 years passed the baton last week to incoming Mayor Paul Jordan. In signing off, Ford said “This has been a wonderful 23 years and the city is blessed with a wonderful council.” We would guess there are plenty in Williamstown who would say that city is fortunate to have had such a dedicated mayor, too. Thank you, ma’am, for your service.

UP: To West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and the organizers of the State Fair, who appear willing to take into account new information, even as it affects previous decisions. Any parent knows the backlash that can come from having assured something will happen, only to have circumstances change and tell a child that thing will not happen. It takes some nerve to do what is necessary. Bravo then, to those who, despite having declared the State Fair would go on as planned this year, did the right thing when COVID-19 flared up in the host county for the event. “Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases surged only hours after our initial announcement,” said Kelly Collins, CEO for the State Fair of West Virginia. “After speaking with local and state health officials as well as community members, it was a hard decision, but the right decision to cancel.”

UP: To news that federal officials are moving forward with felony charges against Richwood, W.Va., Mayor Chris Drennen, who is accused of having taken federal flood relief money intended to help victims of the 2016 disaster and instead used the funds to pay herself. Drennan is charged with two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and one count of fraudulent scheme. According to Nicholas County Prosecutor Jonathan Sweeney, these charges are just the “beginning” of an effort that may include charges against others who were involved in helping themselves while those desperately in need were left with no help at all.

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