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RALEIGH COUNTY QUICK FACTS

Municipalities : Beckley, Lester, Mabscott, Rhodell, Sophia

County Seat : Beckley

Area : 605 square miles

Average Annual Temperature : 52.4 degrees

Annual Rainfall : 38.82 inches

Annual Snowfall : 51.7 inches

Average Relative Humidity : 74 percent

Elevation 2,422 feet above sea level at the Raleigh County Courthouse in Uptown Beckley




Recent Community News & Info


BIG Little Day in ‪Beckley WV‬



Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia opens the new Beckley office with some BIGs & littles from our community. ‪

We hope that you will go by their new office at 104 Wilson Street, Beckley WV (adjacent to Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce office) to find out more about their programs and mentoring opportunities for our area.

Welcome to the neighborhood !



Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia online


Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia on facebook



Dan Bickey Plaza Named in Uptown Beckley





Thank you to the Bickey Family for all you've done for our community.




Have You Been to New River Park Lately?


BRCCC Raleigh County Make it Shine Committee, City of Beckley, other area businesses and organizations are in the process of discussing / planning upgrades, renovations, new additions to the New River Park complex in Beckley. Some new developments that you may have already noticed have been made in and around the New River Park City Pool area. You might have even seen the new playground area near the pool.



Cutting the ribon, left, to open a the new Big Toy at New River Park in Beckley were representatives of the organizations responsible for the project. Pictured from left, are, Denise Southern Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce; Dawn Dayton, Mac’s Toy Fund; Lynn O'Brien, Ellen Taylor president and CEO of the Beckley Chamber; Sherrie Hunter, Co-Chair Raleigh County - Make It Shine; Susan Landis, executive director of Beckley Area Foundation; Mayor Bill O’Brien, Matt Durnan; Jeremiah Johnson, co-chair Raleigh County Make It Shine; Leslie Baker, New River Park director; Bill Richmond, Beckley Area Foundation; Mike Cavendish, Beckley Area Foundation; and Kip Buchanan, Chamber of Commerce.


Officials unveil new ‘big toy’ at New River Park
By Jessica Farrish Register-Herald Reporter

High spirits, sunshine and blue skies made for a perfect summer day Thursday at New River Park, where Beckley Mayor Bill O’Brien, Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ellen Taylor and others dedicated a new piece “big toy” on the playground.

“It’s an honor to be dedicating this wonderful set of equipment here,” said O’Brien, holding his scissors. “The kids are going to love it.”



A festive red ribbon was cut in several places by various members of the Chamber and volunteers from its Raleigh County Make It Shine Committee, including Mac’s Toy Fund President Dawn Dayton; Beckley Area Foundation Executive Director Susan Landis; Margaret O’Neal, executive director of United Way of Southern West Virginia; Sherrie Hunter, co-chair of the Make It Shine Committee, Cindy Worley, Kenny and Marcia Dunlap and several others.

“They’re all partners in this effort,” Taylor said of Raleigh County Make It Shine (RCMS), BAF, Mac’s Toy Fund, the Carter Family Foundation, the City of Beckley and other organizations involved in the project.

The Dunlaps’ visiting grandchildren, Molly, 6, Mitchell, 5, and 3-year-old Meredith Dunlap, all of the Huntington area, wasted no time in trying out the new equipment.

“I like it,” Molly announced, adding that “the screws” for skipping were her favorite.

Mitchell pronounced the rock-climbing wall the best feature.

“And you can go under it,” he informed reporters.

Meredith enjoyed “the two slides,” she said.

Designed by architect Bill Mechnick of Landscape Design in Charlottesville, Va., the big toy features a rock-climbing wall, slides, monkey bars and “screws” in the ground for hopping. It’s the first piece of a community effort to beautify the park for tourists and for locals.

BAF’s Landis reported the new playground, located adjacent to the pool concession building, started as a vision of Make It Shine. BAF, the Carter Foundation and Mac’s Toy Fund donated monies to purchase the equipment, and BAF donated more money for the building of the toy.

Dawn Dayton, president of Mac’s and a member of the RCMS committee, said the 80-year-old Mac’s organization focuses primarily on collecting and distributing toys for needy children at Christmas.

Mac’s board members decided to use surplus funds to give Beckley children the summertime gift of the new playground.

“It’s important that they get out in the fresh air,” she said, adding that the park is a free recreation that the children may enjoy. “This was a good idea, we thought, to help children have a nice, safe place to play.”

Landis added that Mechnick did much of the work as a gift and that City of Beckley came on board with workers who prepared the site and assembled the equipment.

Landis added that plans are also in place to add picnic tables to the area of the park close to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and to build additional playground equipment across from the pool.

Plans are also in place to build a deck with umbrella tables across from the concession stand building and to change the fence around the pool so that parents who are supervising their kids may have some shaded areas while still being inside the fenced pool area.

Umbrella tables are on the horizon for the pool area, too, she said.



Hunter, education director of the Raleigh Solid Waste Authority, said her organization will be partnering to create a “state of the art” rain garden for the hilly area of the park.

A beautification and renovation plan is under way, but a timetable has not yet been set, Landis said.

A renovated New River Park isn’t just good for locals who enjoy the pool, playground and trails, but it also sends a positive message to tourists who are visiting the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine at the park, Landis reported.

“When tourists come in, we want to project a good picture of our community,” said Taylor.

The event was organized by Joe Guffy, information coordinator for the Chamber.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

Read Article in The Register-Herald Newspaper




 
UC announces plans to start nursing program in Beckley





BARH officially dedicates $9.4 million renovation project


By Lisa Shrewsberry Lifestyles Editor

BARH Renovation Celebration

BECKLEY — “Old faithful with a new façade” is how keynote speaker Rep. Nick Rahall, D- W.Va., referred to the $9.4 million in brick and mortar renovations to Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital at an on-site ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.

“The history and future of this hospital and coal are forever intertwined. This hospital’s foundation was poured with the blood, sweat and tears of West Virginia coal miners,” he stated, referencing the institution’s legacy as “the miner’s hospital.”

Legacy, community and future were the prevailing themes before a full auditorium of hospital supporters, employees, medical staff and community leaders.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling stressed the importance of such improvements to health care facilities in West Virginia and commended Appalachian Regional Healthcare for supporting the structural updates, including 19 additional private rooms, an updated entryway and façade, new windows, an upgraded HVAC system and three new elevators.

“We want to ensure that citizens receive the best quality health care possible. The private rooms and HVAC system are important to infection control. It is critical to invest in our facilities with new equipment and with brick and mortar (improvements),” said Bowling.

Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, an ARH board member for nine years and most recently board chairman, reflected on the importance of the renovations to the community and economy.

“Hospitals are economic development entities,” he said. “Whenever new businesses are looking at coming into the area, they want to know, ‘How are the health care and the education systems?’ Hospitals provide a very large tax base for the City of Beckley. BARH is non-profit, but the employees live in the area and they spend in the area.”

Pugh stated that BARH, opened in 1956, had operated for decades in a 1950s environment, “… and that just doesn’t work,” he commented.

Other speakers included Chairman of the Local Advisory Council Dr. Bill O’Brien and Chief of Staff Dr. Ali Suleiman, who outlined a “wish list” for future improvements, including a Surgical Intensive Care Unit to complement the existing ICU.

“With all of your support, we will achieve our goals,” he said.

Kimberly Gross with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office and Mike Browning representing U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III, each read statements of congratulations for the year-long project.

Before taking to the podium, CEO Rocco Massey, who has served a total of 32 years with BARH, took time to emphasize the importance of improved patient outcomes as a result of the extensive remodeling.

“The units are designed to improve nursing efficiency and to cut health care costs,” he stated, also connecting the hospital to the legacy of the coal miners served throughout the decades.

“John L. Lewis and Eleanor Roosevelt conducted a ribbon-cutting to open the hospital in 1956. That’s our heritage. We have a long tradition of providing quality health care to miners and to their families.”

In addition to miners, BARH has benefited the community as a non-profit hospital, with ARH systems as a whole reporting $100 million last year in unreimbursed medical expenses and write-offs.

Massey paid high compliments to the employees of BARH, including those who contributed a total of $100,000 to the capital campaign for the improvements. As testimony to their dedication, he revealed the latest quality metrics reports, earning hearty applause from the audience.

“There’s not a single indicator in red, and we are leading the ARH system in service excellence scores for our ER Department.”

Reva Bowman, a nurse supervisor at B-ARH, is proud of the changes at her workplace, which she also claims has been a part of keeping her family healthy for generations.

“This was my grandparents’ hospital. My husband is a miner, and this is their hospital, too. We need to keep it going and remember (the miners’) sacrifices.”

— E-mail lshrewsberry@register-herald.com