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WVU Art Museum Tour the new home of the university’s art collection.

Nikki Izzo-Brown Meet WVU’s championship women’s soccer coach.

The Great Outdoors There’s still time to enjoy summer’s natural beauty.

A guide to the many perks we enjoy with wvu in the neighborhood.

+to 0 5 s thing

try l is th fal

volume 4

issue 6

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New South Media, Inc.

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Nikki Bowman, nikki@newsouthmediainc.com Editor

Katie Griffith, katie@newsouthmediainc.com contributing editor

Pam Kasey, pam@newsouthmediainc.com Designer

Becky Moore, becky@newsouthmediainc.com Operations Manager

Sarah Shaffer, sarah@newsouthmediainc.com web and social media manager

Katie Willard, katherine@newsouthmediainc.com Staff writer

Mikenna Pierotti, mikenna@newsouthmediainc.com photographer

Carla Witt Ford, carla@newsouthmediainc.com intern

Jordan Carter integrated marketing & Advertising

Bekah Call, info@newsouthmediainc.com contributors

Julie Perine, Pam Marra


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MORGA NTOW N is published by New South Media, Inc. Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the publisher. © n ew sou t h m edi a, i nc. A ll r igh ts r eserv ed


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

editor’s note


t ’s tedious to be a townie sometimes. Nothing’s new, and everything’s known— Morgantown’s restaurants, shortcuts, and weekend activities. And then something little happens, and you realize how little you actually know about this town. It’s always changing. There’s always something new. I felt that a few weeks ago at a reading series hosted at 123 Pleasant Street featuring writers and artists I’d never heard of (except the one who happened to be my sister). These were new faces with strong voices telling fresh stories of life around town and the state and of places and people I’d never met. It’s during those moments you realize how much Morgantown has to offer and how much there is still to discover. I learned that, too, while working on this magazine, the first of my issues as editor. I grew up in Morgantown, went to school here, and left for only a few years to try my hand at Washington, D.C., and China, before life and love brought me home. When I left, I thought I knew everything there was to know. Coming back to write and edit for Morgantown showed me how wrong I was. From the opening of the longanticipated Art Museum of West Virginia University (page 40) to the many secret outdoor spots that help you beat the heat during the final days of summer (page 58) to the discovery of a nearby garden grown by volunteers whose


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

intentions are both idealistic and completely practical (page 24), there is always some new adventure or experience or person to meet if you take the time to seek it out. Researching our cover story, “Living in a College Town” on page 46, also helped me get over my high-horse position as a capital-T “townie.” Life in Morgantown is so interwoven with the ebb and flow of university life that we sometimes take the university for granted. We cheer the open roads of summer and bemoan the traffic issues throughout the school year. We sometimes forget the many reasons tied to WVU that make us choose to live in Morgantown—known as the University City or Home of the Mountaineers depending on the time of year and your conversation partner’s level of sports fanaticism. The reasons go beyond employment, though it seems like half the town works for the university in some capacity. They range from recreation opportunities, like museums, sporting events, and summer youth camps, to entertainment options, like the nationally renowned artists who pass through the Creative Arts Center each year, to opportunities for education at all stages of life. Some of these you probably knew about, but a lot of them you probably didn’t. I certainly learned a few things in the making of this magazine. So take a few minutes to settle in with this issue—and grab a few bookmarks for quick referencing later on—to rediscover all the reasons you call Morgantown home while uncovering a few new ones along the way.

K atie Gr iffith,


Follow us at . . . facebook.com/ morgantownmagazine twitter.com/morgantownmag instagram.com/morgantownmag

Letters to the Editor

Opportunities Abound The opportunities pointed out in your recent feature “A New Frontier” abound for smaller communities to benefit from the Mon (River) in a new way—i.e. the growing recreational market. … Thank you for raising awareness of the spectacular asset found in the Mon River. Cathy McCollom, director of the River Town Program, via email

Morgantown, represent! I do a lot of recruiting in Japan and I always take WV Living and Morgantown with me—I think the world of those magazines. Stacy Flint, director of WVU’s Intensive English Program Director

A Common Language My wife and I read the article “The Welcome Wagon” in the April/May issue of Morgantown magazine with great interest. We feel connected with everyone in the English as a Second Language instruction courses, because my wife Julie actually took this course during a major part of the last year. We very much appreciate this service. It not only helped to improve Julie’s English, but also helped us to understand American culture and to integrate into society. Edmund Schüengel, via email


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

August/September 2015

In This Issue

Carla Witt Ford

Living in a Summer’s Nikki College Town Last Hurrah Izzo-Brown There are myriad perks to living in Morgantown, right next door to WVU.

Don’t let summer pass by without trying these unforgettable outdoor activities.

This women’s soccer coach enters her 20th season leading one of WVU’s most elite teams.






August/September 2015

In This Issue


20 14

22 24 36

32 This Matters


14 Who’s This Trained volunteers with the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group find those who are lost.

22 Hear This Listen to what the Mon Hills Records label is doing for Morgantown musicians.

16 Buy This Get ready to warm up for fall with a few of these cozy finds.

24 What’s This A little garden just off Greenbag Road has big ideas for local food.

17 Follow This Lower Greenmont is readying for a face-lift.

26 Read This WVU Associate Professor John Temple traces the roots of our rising prescription drug problem.

18 Support This Thanks to the Mon River Trails Conservancy, your rail-trail could soon take you farther than ever. 20 Love This TK’s Fruit, Produce and Bubble Tea and a soon-to- reopen Greenmont bakery offer fresh food options in and near downtown Morgantown.


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

28 Shop This Find the décor refinement you’ve been looking for at Classic Furniture in Sabraton. 30 Know This Get to the bottom of Morgantown’s current tax and budget discussion. 32 This Matters To... Meet Shane Lyons, WVU’s new athletic director.

6 Editor’s Note 33 Across County Lines Charles Pointe in Bridgeport has plenty of dining and shopping to fill your Sunday. 36 Dish It Out Ogawa Japanese Restaurant in Evansdale serves authentic sushi with a Morgantown twist. 40 The U The Art Museum of West Virginia University is gearing up for an August opening. 44 Healthy Living Will the new medical amnesty policy help curb WVU’s partying culture?

On the Cover Editor Katie Griffith went to the top of the new University Park development to snap this picture of Evansdale. Looking good, Morgantown!

Eat / Love / Wear / Shop / Watch / know / Hear / read / Do / Who / what

Carla Witt Ford

Bigger and brighter!

Back-to-School Fashion Frenzy Take advantage of tax-free shopping across the border in Maryland August 9–15, when qualifying apparel and footwear are exempt from the state sales tax. Clothing is always tax-free in Pennsylvania. Outlets, anyone?

Mountain People’s Co-op is now open at its new space on Pleasant Street. The store carries the same merchandise you know and love, but boasts a brighter, more sophisticated space and plenty of parking across the street. 131 Pleasant Street, 304.291.6131

Vacation Slump All work and no play? Nearly 42 percent of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in 2014, according to a survey conducted by travel website Skift. If that sounds like you, call off next week, flip to page 58, and take advantage of summer.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Between seven and 10 inches of rain fell on Monongalia County during June and July, according to the National Weather Service. While Morgantown sure felt wet this year, we lucked out compared to other parts of the state: Some received up to 25 inches.




Mountaineer Area Rescue Group If you should ever happen to get lost in these parts, take heart. ➼ When autistic 18-year-old Jacob Allen wandered away from his parents in the Dolly Sods Wilderness in October 2007, members of Mountaineer Area Rescue Group (MARG) were among the hundreds of volunteers eventually called to Tucker County to help find him. A non-verbal hiker in dense brush is a challenging search and it was four days, with nighttime temperatures dropping into the 30s, before Jacob was found. He was lying in a rhododendron thicket not far from where he’d wandered from the trail, dehydrated but alive. It was a local searcher who finally 14

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

found Jacob, but MARG has played an important role in many of the 400 or so cases it’s responded to over the years. The group was formed in 1997 by outdoorsmen who noted a need for a search and rescue complement to law enforcement activities, says MARG President Paula Repka. Today it has 40 members, of whom about 20 are most active. Members respond to incidents within a few hours’ drive of Morgantown at the request of local law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency management agencies, and they participate in more distant operations when needed. College students lost at Coopers Rock

represent many of MARG’s MARG members train for a wide 20 or 25 calls a year— range of search although it’s less common conditions and now that everyone has GPS techniques. on their cell phones, Paula says. “Instead we’re seeing more cases of elderly people with dementia wandering off.” Other calls range from cave rescues to cold cases. “We went to Barbour County this year for a cold case murder, where the sheriff had been given a tip,” she says. “We did an evidence search two years ago in Preston County. Law enforcement believed a fellow had chucked a murder weapon into the woods, and we found that.” MARG members have managed shelters during winter storms, monitored rivers approaching flood stage, recovered drowned kayakers, and provided mapping and analysis for searches in places as distant as Michigan. These days, search and rescue is often organized using what’s known as “lost person behavior.” An International Search and Rescue Incident Database holds data on more than 50,000 cases of missing people

Paula Repka; Courtesy of MARG (2)



Interested in search and rescue? MARG is always looking for volunteers. Some members are outdoors types who like hiking and searching in the woods, and others are problem-solvers who like the puzzle side of search management. The group meets on the third Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the American Red Cross in Morgantown.

Paula Repka; Sharon Windle

MARG conducts canine training at Coopers Rock State Forest.

worldwide. Subjects are tagged with categories including conditions such as autism and dementia, MARG members activities like hunting or pose for a snowmobiling, and age group photo in November 2013. groups. Based on a lost person’s characteristics, the terrain, and other basic information, trained search managers can learn the distances at which 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 90 percent of similar missing people have been found from their last known locations, along with other probabilities. They organize search assignments based on that information. The probability-based approach can be unintuitive. “With dementia or autism, for example, when a person sets off for whatever reason into the woods or down a city street, they will go absolutely, positively in a straight line, to the point where they might have to be on their hands and knees, until they physically get stuck,” Paula says. “If the trail or road has a turn in it, there’s

a high probability this person has veered off in a straight line. If a search manager says, ‘Now we have to crawl through the rhododendrons and the crab apple bushes because the person might be in there,’ a volunteer might say, ‘They wouldn’t go in there.’ Well, yes, they would.” Volunteer search and rescue complements the services offered by government-based organizations. Law enforcement assumes a missing person is a criminal incident, but it can make sense to conduct search and rescue operations in parallel until the true nature of an incident is determined. “In some cases, people don’t want to be found,” Paula says. “The guy with the girlfriend and the wife— he’s just going to go missing one day, and when law enforcement interviews the family and you put the pieces together, you realize this guy is gone.” But in case of a missing teen, who may have gone on a hike and lost her way or who may have been abducted, both search and rescue and a criminal investigation have greater chances of success the earlier they’re begun.

Not just anyone can start a search and rescue team and get called in. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management requires a credential. For its credentialing, MARG belongs to the independent Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference and is one of nine ASRC teams in five states from Virginia to Ohio. Members are certified individually according to ASRC standards for everything from Call-Out Qualified, which requires just 16 hours of training, up to four levels of Search Manager that require 100 hours of training or more. Paula, an outdoorsperson whose professional background is in corporate finance, is certified as a Field Team Member and hopes to be certified this summer as a Field Team Leader. The group is re-certified as a team every three years and, because it’s trained in incident management through the Federal Emergency Management Administration, it shares a common language with fire departments, emergency management, and law enforcement. MARG offers all its assistance on less than $5,000 a year in government and charitable grants and private donations. “In 2015, we’ve received a grant from the state for $2,500 and one from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust for $2,000,” Paula says. “This was a good year.” The group relies heavily on creativity and connections for getting gear at cost and scoring cheap electronics and even an out-of-commission ambulance that now transports the organization’s gear. Mainly, MARG is a labor of love that makes all of us a little safer. “When I moved to West Virginia five years ago I was looking for volunteer opportunities,” Paula says. “When I found this, I thought, ‘Great, this is my give-back to the community.’” wvmarg.org written by Pam Kasey morgantownmag.Com



Everyday Crochet


Get ready for fall with these knit and crochet items made by local artisans. 1. Sock monkey hat, $26

This infant-sized hat, a spin-off of the popular sock monkey, stays fast to little Mountaineers with gold and blue braided ties. Handcrafted by Kristen Bertha

2. Hand-crocheted baby beanie, $16 Keep tiny ears warm and protected with this design sure to delight everyone who sees your little one. Handcrafted by Kristen Bertha


3. Pillow with handmade glass buttons, $40

These blue and gold pillows are the perfect accessory for a man cave or an RV. Handcrafted by Tom Milne

4. Crocheted coonskin hat, $28

Show your Mountaineer pride by sporting this crocheted coonskin hat, which comes in adult and children’s sizes. Handcrafted by Kristen Bertha


5. Knit washcloth, $6

Scrub up with this blue and gold knit washcloth. Handcrafted by Sandy Bacho Appalachian Gallery, 270 Walnut Street 866.983.7263, wvcraft.com written by Jordan Carter


5 16

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015



Reclaiming Lower Greenmont A new pedestrian bridge could help this near-downtown neighborhood bustle again. ➼ Walk from downtown across the Walnut Street bridge over Deckers Creek and several structures to your left will catch your eye. The large red Wilson Works building, originally a powerhouse, and some elegant yellow brick homes anchor Lower Greenmont, a neglected neighborhood some want to revitalize. “We feel the mixed uses we have, with some stores and commercial interests intermixed into our neighborhood, are an interesting combination that have enormous economic potential, if we can keep things at a scale that feels like home to the people that live here,” says Greenmont Neighborhood Association (GNA) President Matt Held.

Greenmont spans busy Brockway Avenue. Lower Greenmont, from Brockway down to the creek, holds some of Morgantown’s oldest history. Early settler Michael Kern built a gristmill there in the 1770s, and remains of his low-head dam can still be seen in the creek. He built a covered bridge across the creek directly under today’s Walnut Street bridge, too. Later, in the early 1900s, famed Italian mason Thoney Pietro built those elegant homes. Lower Greenmont was an ethnically, racially diverse neighborhood populated by working-class homeowners. They walked to independent food shops and rode the trolley to Sabraton to work in

the tin mill and glass factories. Today, the neighborhood is primarily rentals, many with multiple car owners. Streets are crowded and the neighborhood lacks cohesion and sense of place. But its location beside downtown, its long creekfront, and its historic sites make it prime for urban renewal. A project in the works may start the process. A new pedestrian bridge where Kern built his will reconnect Decker Avenue on the two sides of the creek and create access between downtown, the rail-trail, and Greenmont. The project is funded by the state and city and is expected to break ground in spring 2016. “It has been proposed by the Greenmont Neighborhood Association and the Morgantown History Museum to call the bridge ‘Kern’s Crossing,’” Matt says. The proposal combines the interests of those two groups plus Friends of Deckers Creek and the Mon River Trails Conservancy. “They’re all seeking funding for archaeological research into Kern’s activities on Deckers Creek. The plans are to develop it into a historical tourism destination.” In spring 2015 Greenmont resident and WVU landscape architecture student Anna Withrow developed an ambitious Lower Greenmont revitalization plan as her master’s thesis. Conceived in part through a neighborhood visioning process, Anna imagines a future in which the Wilson Works building becomes a historical community marketplace with dining and a playground. Landscaping and pedestrian improvements would make the neighborhood more inviting, and hanging baskets and signs identifying the neighborhood along Brockway might encourage drivers to recognize the area and drive more slowly. “This neighborhood is very much at risk,” Anna says. “But it’s historically rich and very walkable, and it’s just three blocks from downtown. It’s worth preserving.” The GNA is concerned about proposed zoning changes that could allow for higher-density rental housing before the neighborhood can reclaim its familycentered origins. But Matt is hopeful. “Ten years ago I wouldn’t have advised a family to buy a house in Upper Greenmont, but today I would give it a resounding stamp of approval because it has changed that much,” he says. “We’re doing everything we can to continue that trend and spread it down into Lower Greenmont.” written by Pam Kasey photographed by carla witt ford morgantownmag.Com



As much as we already love our rail-trails, they’re about to get even better. ➼ It’s hard to believe now, but when the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) first formed in 1991 to create the region’s beloved rail-trail network, the group had to persuade skeptical city leaders that anyone would use it. There wasn’t ever really any doubt. As soon as the conservancy opened its first two sections in 1998, one along the Monongahela River and one high up on Deckers Creek, the trails inspired riverfront revitalization and a blossoming of outdoor 18

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

events. The rest is living history. MRTC’s 50 miles of trail—20 miles along Deckers Creek, part of which runs through a wild, rocky gorge, and 30 nearly flat miles along the Mon River—is used by everyone from birders and bicycle commuters to school athletes in training and hospital patients getting physical therapy. “We’ve basically developed a 365acre linear park,” says MRTC Executive Director Ella Belling—that is, MRTC’s trail network is huge. It’s one of the

largest managed by a nonprofit organization anywhere in To give back the nation, to the trail that and all the gives so much to more rare for Morgantown, visit having both montrails.org and urban and click “Join Us.” rural sections. The secret to MRTC’s success is a less visible network: The organization is widely consulted for its savvy in forming government partnerships, in motivating an active volunteer membership, and in growing the Deckers Creek Half Marathon annual tourism fundraiser that this year drew 640 participants from 25 states and netted more than $20,000. Few organizations have done as much over the past quarter-century for Morgantown’s charm, livability, and health. Now though, our mature trail system is making new connections— internally with city neighborhoods and

Support Your Trails

Ella Belling

A Longer Journey SUPPORTThis

THIS MATTERS MRTC’s work transformed unsightly and unused railway into a beautiful, beloved community resource.

“Mature” Also Means Upkeep The Mon River Trails Conservancy’s 50 miles of trails require routine maintenance—for clearing ditches and culverts, moving downed trees, and repairing occasional vandalism— costing more than $1,800 per mile per year. And now, older sections need deeper attention, too. “The more development that goes up around the trails, the harder it is to manage the stormwater and aging infrastructure of the railroad,” says Ella Belling, executive director of the conservancy. “Just up from Kroger (in Sabraton), Deckers Creek is undercutting the foundation of the trail,” she says, by way of example. “We also have a hillside pushing the trail into the creek. It’s all a continued investment to keep trails in the condition they were in the day they were built.”

externally with the region’s growing network—making possible journeys not even MRTC imagined in the beginning.

clockwise from top: Courtesy of MRTC; julie black/iplayoutside; daniel boyd

Neighborhood Connections Easy spurs from the rail-trails will let people get on and off the pathways directly in their neighborhoods. First up is the planned bridge across Deckers Creek at Lower Greenmont, a project neighborhood residents believe could lead to revitalization of their neardowntown neighborhood (see page 17). That project is already funded and scheduled for construction in spring 2016. And almost completely funded and planned for 2017 is a trail link with Collins Ferry Road, where the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Mylan have offices. “That will use what once was the road for the ferry,” Ella says. “People working in those offices will be able to use the link to commute on the trail directly to work.” Already in place but set for a major upgrade is the link between McQuain Riverfront Park and downtown via the pedestrian underpass at Foundry Street.

Virginia envisioning connections that could turn existing trails into one 1,600-mile network. Most of the 50 gaps that have been identified in this potential network are less than 15 miles long. “Our 180-mile corridor, which runs from Parkersburg to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, is the most finished of all the corridors the “There will be new lighting, and signage at groups are looking at,” Ella says. “There’s McQuain Park will show people that, instead about 35 miles left to finish in Pennsylvania of crossing Don Knotts Boulevard, they can and 25 in West Virginia. That would link us go under the bridge,” Ella says. “That’s an up with the Great Allegheny Passage, which important one for economic development, already connects with Pittsburgh to the west connecting trail users with businesses.” and Cumberland, Maryland, to the east, and Connections with neighborhoods are from there to D.C.” Closing gaps in Marion one of the big benefits of a mature trail and Harrison counties would connect the system. The denser the city’s interior trail Mon River Trail with the North Bend network becomes, the more we can rely on Rail Trail that runs nearly to Parkersburg. it for commuting and short trips on foot or Another three miles at that end would take bicycle and the less we will need to drive. the trail to Ohio. Morgantown would no longer be only the Regional and National Connections hub for a 50-mile trail, Ella says—it would become part of a many-hundred-mile-long The other big benefit of a mature system trail. “And we’re one of the few cities on it is connections with the wider world: the that can boast a four-star hotel, restaurants, possibility of longer trips from town and, and bike rental all right on our trail, so you’re at the same time, the opportunity to host going to see people who started off maybe on travelers from distant places. the Great Allegheny Passage or coming from Rail-trails have been in development Ohio,” she says. “I can see people staying for all over the country since the nationwide multiple days in Morgantown because you Rails-to-Trails Conservancy formed in can stay at the hotel and go on 40-mile day1986. A few years ago, trail groups in this region started talking big connectivity. Out loops in every direction. We’ll be a stop on a longer journey.” of that has come the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition: 20 groups in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West written by pam kasey morgantownmag.Com




City Produce, Local Vibe TK’s Fruit, Produce and Bubble Tea offers healthy, fresh foods on High Street. ➼ Open the doors at 300 High Street and you’ll walk into a room of color. Avocados, carrots, turnips, eggplants, peaches, plums, grapes, kiwi, and a dozen more fruits and vegetables line the shelves of TK’s Fruit, Produce and Bubble Tea. Owners KD and Sara Kumaravelan lived in New York City for 20

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

20 years before moving to Morgantown for family and a more laid-back lifestyle, but the couple didn’t want to leave behind the convenience and variety of big-city produce stores. Instead they took that seed of inspiration and planted it in Morgantown. “We want to help the community have a healthy

lifestyle,” KD says. TK’s Fruit, “We feel having Produce and fruits and vegetables Bubble Tea helps bring peace to 300 High Street the community. We 304.413.4729 wanted to slow things tksproduce@gmail.com down for the people here and give them something to envision for their body, mind, and soul.” The store carries local produce from WVU’s organic farm, though most of its stock comes from New York and Pittsburgh, especially the items that are hard to find. “We try to have some Asian items like papayas, Asian pears, and Durians. We have a lot of exotic fruits and specials,” KD says. Many of these fruits are cheaper and more available in New York, resulting in cheaper prices for customers here. “We try to make it affordable for everybody. We do all the work and we go all the way to New York to get it.”


From the Ashes

Morgantown’s beloved Greenmont bakery will rise again.

➼ There’s something magical about the house

KD and Sara pick up the produce themselves and stock the majority of it the same day. Once in the store the produce is well-cared for, kept hydrated with a handheld mister. Besides providing fresh produce within walking distance of the WVU campus and the downtown area, the store also offers vegetarian food, meat substitutes, and another specialty—bubble tea, a cold tea drink with small, chewy tapioca balls. “We never really planned to have a produce store,” KD says. “It just sort of came about.” The store’s June 2015 opening was relatively low-key, with little advertising—the Kumaravelans rely on word-of-mouth traffic—but during the store’s first week in business, locals flooded through the door. “We’re so excited to be part of this community. We didn’t expect such a welcome into business on High Street,” KD says. TK’s Fruit, Produce and Bubble Tea is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store is closed on Sundays and public holidays. In a combination of first initials, TK’s is named for Kumaravelan family members Thanvanath, KD, and Sara (above).

written by Jordan Carter photographed by Carla Witt Ford

turned bakery at 89 Kingwood Street. Maybe it’s the romantic old trees shading the front yard or the winding stone path to the front door, or maybe it’s the feeling you get when you open the door and the aroma of warm olive rosemary bread, fresh apple pie scones, and brewing coffee pulls you inside. But on June 7, 2015, the establishment known since 2007 as New Day Bakery—and as Daily Kneads before that—closed its doors. And Morgantown wept. A sweep through New Day’s Facebook page confirms it—close to 200 comments, shares, and likes have lamented the bakery’s absence from the moment the news hit social media. Employees Tracy Strother, Tyler Wright, and Danny Hoover weren’t surprised by the outpouring, but with more than 30 years of combined bakery and serving experience, they were determined to do something about it. “We, as a team, decided the bakery was too valuable to close,” Tracy says. “We worked together with the landlord and some friends to get it going and reopen.” The trio of new co-owners started a GoFundMe campaign, where more than 120 fans contributed more than $6,000 to sprucing up the building’s interior, purchasing a cash register and accounting system, buying a new sign, printing menus, and restocking inventory. The plan is to officially reopen in September 2015 as Phoenix Bakery—but the menu will be delightfully familiar. “When we start back up, we’ll be using the original recipes,” Tracy says. “We’re going to bring pizza back. We are going to have all the same products. After Christmas we’ll start thinking about diversifying, but we want to give Morgantown what they want and they want their bakery back.” written by Mikenna Pierotti photographed by Carla Witt Ford morgantownmag.Com



A New Spin On Old Music WVU’s student-run record label Mon Hills Records is shaping a new generation of music industry professionals.


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

➼ “Morgantown’s music scene was like an untilled field. There are so many artists in the area, but there was no organized way to focus their energies,” says Darko Velichkovski, director of the WVU music industry program. Mon Hills Records serves to fill that interlude. Like a mainstream record label, Mon Hills Records identifies artists, records them, and promotes them, all in hopes of launching careers, but its mission is also a bit wider. Developed during the spring 2015 semester, the Mon Hills Records label is an extension of WVU’s music industry program, which offers an online undergraduate minor, an online master’s degree in the music industry, and, soon, a full bachelor’s degree. But students from all educational backgrounds are invited to help run the label. Responsible for everything including album art and graphic design, marketing and public relations, distribution and sales, live and multimedia production, and legal and accounting issues, students have the opportunity to

apply skills they learn Clockwise The High Street from classes across Jazz Band, the disciplines to a firsthand WVU Bluegrass experience with the Band, and Steve Smith are three of music industry. the first artists and Darko joined WVU’s bands signed by College of Creative Arts Mon Hills Records, in 2013 to form the a new label run by music industry program WVU students. and the record label. He began his own music studies at age seven and went on to graduate from The Juilliard School as a classical and jazz clarinetist. But Darko’s interests span not only the stage—they go behind the scenes as well. He has produced and managed music projects for the past 20 years, most recently building and leading a music production degree program at Middlesex University in London. During his time as a music industry executive and music producer, Darko realized the value of opening new doors in the music industry for students in areas that are normally underserved. “I

Courtesy of Mon Hills Records


I’m hoping that Mon Hills Records will be one of those places at WVU where you can discover your new passion.”

Courtesy of Mon Hills Records

Darko Velichkovski

fell in love with the fact that you can make a true difference in the lives of students by opening bridges for them into the music industry,” he says, adding that West Virginia has a very strong musical heritage but is one of those areas historically underrepresented by the music industry. “I’m hoping that Mon Hills Records will be one of those places at WVU where you can discover your new passion.” The record label’s first year is all about foundations, starting with the foundations of American musical traditions—country, jazz, and bluegrass. Three artists and bands signed to Mon Hills Records honor those traditions: Steve Smith, a country music performer who builds and plays banjos and who has already seen some success on indie and international music charts; the High Street Jazz Band, a group of WVU Marching Band members and alums that performs New Orleans-style music, jazz, and rock; and the WVU Bluegrass Band, directed by WVU music professor Travis Stimeling. “It’s important to us as a label to not only honor, but also to promote and educate others in those traditions and not to allow that to die,” Darko says. Mon Hill Records’ first artists will release music throughout 2015. Soon the label will expand into other genres. Darko says it is looking for another two or three artists to add to its repertoire in spring 2016. written by Jordan Carter morgantownmag.Com




Little Bit of Earth

Volunteers at this community garden on Greenbag Road are growing food and harvesting hope.


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

➼ Along an overgrown meadow at the corner of Kingwood Pike and Greenbag Road, WVU graduate student Josh Lohnes leads me through knee-deep grass. We turn onto a mowed path, wild plantain and white-headed dandelions curling around the edges, and follow it deeper into the field. Josh’s tall muck boots sink in dirt still soft from yesterday’s rain, but he doesn’t slow down. “This is the third iteration,” he says, pointing ahead of us to Morgantown’s volunteer-based, direct-to-food pantry community garden. Its bounty is just beginning to peek out between blades of crabgrass. For three seasons the garden, named Conscious Harvest Cooperative, has been producing food on this quarter-acre plot for a growing number of food pantries in Monongalia County. The cooperative donated some 500 pounds of food to five pantries in 2014, according to Josh’s

Conscious Harvest, a records. Although the community garden in organization has no Morgantown, donates central coordinator, it the food it grows to local pantries. has attracted 15 core volunteers and even bigger groups during spring planting and fall cleanup. In an attempt to find the best model to remain self-sustaining and provide larger harvests to pantries, the cooperative has tried community supported agriculture (CSA) and rental fees for private plots in past seasons. But this year Conscious Harvest is focusing solely on growing food for donations and keeping volunteers committed all season. “It’s morphed over time,” Josh says. “The long-term dream is that more and more people will come together around growing food and understanding hunger issues in our community.” Josh has been doing much of the cooperative’s administrative work in his limited spare time. He runs the group’s Facebook page, sends information to mailing

The long-term dream is that more and more people will come together around growing food and understanding hunger issues in our community.” Josh Lohnes, conscious Harvest volunteer

Volunteers spend time growing everything from flowers to tomatoes for donations.

lists, and coordinates the group’s regular meetings. Even without a designated leader, the garden has come a long way. “It started with a group of geography grad students. We were trying to find a way to try out a social gift economy,” Josh says. “One of the guys knew Ted Hastings who lived up the hill, and his dad, Dewey, owns this plot of land.” The group spoke with Ted, an openminded farmer and trained culinary professional, about starting a community garden focused on donating food to those in need. Ted told Josh this particular corner of land at a busy intersection not far from downtown and the university might be worth millions. A local gas station chain had even offered to lease it in the past. The Hastings didn’t bring in a gas station, but they readily accepted Conscious Harvest. “Nutrition is the

important thing we’re doing here,” Ted says. “We want to bring food to people that is fresh and alive. What’s more important?” Back in the garden, Josh shows off a newly completed shed in the tree line. It’s full of tools but missing doors. “This is the next project area we’d like to see go forward. We got a mini-grant for both the shed and the garden project.” Josh hopes they can add the shed’s doors and put in a scale to weigh produce soon. The shed, a fence, a gravity-fed watering system—all of Conscious Harvest’s projects are the result of a mingling of volunteer labor and donated funds. We pass the fenced garden area where 150-foot beds house viney tomatoes, spindly carrot tops, and rows of little cabbages. Potato plants bloom and the summer squash are spreading. Despite the garden’s considerable size, Josh says getting people to slow down long enough

to learn more about the cooperative and its mission is one of the challenges—on top of dealing with pests and keeping the soil productive using organic methods. But for the volunteers, it’s not just about growing food. It’s about reconnecting people with food production and with the issues of poverty and food insecurity so many families face. “Where hunger used to be something very collectively experienced, it is now experienced privately on a household by household basis. Your neighbor could be hungry and you’d have no clue because we don’t all engage in the food system in the same way,” Josh says. In the near future, Conscious Harvest aims to gain nonprofit status, expand its reach to 11 food pantries, and attract and sustain regular volunteers and gardening experts throughout the growing season. The cooperative is also looking for funding to hire a part-time coordinator. “What would be nice for Conscious Harvest is for it to spread as an idea,” Josh says. “The idea is that anybody who plants a garden or has a yard can plant a row and donate it. If we could coordinate that across town somehow”— he pauses and smiles— “that’s a pie-in-the-sky, social change dream.” Still, looking at what a tiny group of volunteers has been able to do on this little bit of earth, it doesn’t seem impossible. facebook.com/consciousharvest written by Mikenna Pierotti photographed by Carla Witt Ford morgantownmag.Com




Dark Heart A new book by WVU Associate Professor John Temple traces the tangled roots of rising prescription drug abuse. ➼ It’s hardly an unassuming flower, the poppy. A patch can yield a riot of leggy stalks and colorful silken petals, each flower’s dark heart a hypnotizing mix of bloody burgundy and bright orange, oily black and pale purple, radiation green and cerulean blue. It’s an arresting addition to any garden. It’s also dangerous in the right hands. From poppy sap a scientist can create some of the most 26

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

potent and addictive drugs known—opium and heroin. Yet along the poppy’s family tree you will also find morphine, administered in hospitals for acute pain; codeine, a drug often paired with Tylenol for mundane things like a sprained ankle or the flu; and oxycodone, a potent pain killer now increasingly manufactured and widely prescribed for a range of painful ailments. But while opium and heroin are illegal and have been blamed for addictions and deaths throughout history, more socially accepted medications like oxycodone are now linked to the same problems, even among the most unlikely of users—middle class Americans. “The number that shocks me the most with oxycodone is the fact that we make 42 times the amount of this narcotic painkiller we did in 1993,” says John Temple, associate professor of journalism at WVU and author of the new book American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic. “This is a drug that’s very similar to heroin. It’s made from the same plant. It produces the same high. And the addiction is the same addiction. There are all sorts of problems with this drug, and we are now legally selling that much more of it and prescribing that much more than we used to.” In part that is the issue John decided to tackle when, in spring 2012, he read a news article about Chris and Jeff George, twin brothers arrested for running an illegal pain clinic in Florida that doled out thousands of prescription pills. The brothers made nearly $40 million in just two years, and they did it with seeming ease. The story hooked him. “I thought, here is a perfect way to delve into the subject. I wanted to talk about why these drugs have become so prevalent and why so many people are becoming addicted,” John says. “But I wanted to tell a good story along with it,

and this story about these brothers and their buddies who, with no medical background, figured out how to hire doctors and sell drugs was perfect. The fact that these Florida pain clinics were able to sell millions of these pills shows how the mentality toward these drugs has changed.” John’s book, now optioned by Warner Bros. for a potential film, pulls back the curtain on a billion-dollar industry. While the brothers-turned-drug traffickers did help fuel a tide of opioid abuse and overdose—one that has swept through Appalachian states to devastating effect— the medical system allowing such abuse is perhaps at greater fault. And for John the issue hits close to home. In 2014 West Virginia ranked number one in prescription drug overdoses. From 1999 to 2004 the state had a 550 percent increase in such deaths, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. What’s worse, John says, with pharmaceutical prices on the rise, many prescription drug addicts later turn to cheaper, dangerously unregulated heroin. “It’s something I’ve been noticing for a long time. More and more people I’m acquainted with in the state have friends or family members who struggle with addiction, or are themselves having issues with prescription drugs,” he says. “I never really understood until now what changed in the past 20 years to create these conditions.” Through sharp, witty prose, vivid language, and cinematic storytelling following the George brothers, law enforcement, and victims, John’s book slices into the dark heart of America’s prescription drug habit, revealing a nation addicted to money and power as much as the poppy plant. “I’m not a cynical person, but there’s a lot of money to be made off these drugs,” John says. “The gatekeepers are doctors. They control the prescription pads.” In recent decades, he adds, there has been a concerted effort to convince doctors that these drugs are not as dangerous as they were once believed. Despite the terrifying statistics he uncovered while writing the book—statistics surrounding the companies and individuals making billions selling prescription opioids both legally and illegally—John says he’s hopeful American Pain will help shake things up. “I’m not a doctor or a policy maker. I can’t tell you how we should handle this drug. But we should be aware of what’s happening every day.” written by Mikenna Pierotti





A Classic Sort of Place

This furniture store in Sabraton offers a bit of the good life for all tastes and styles. ➼ It’s like you’re visiting your extravagant, world-traveling friend’s house for the very first time. The rugs, large and luxurious, burst with colors in intricate designs. The side tables, boasting unusual wood inlays, hold even more unusual accessory boxes bedecked with gold shell motifs. The lighting is just so. Even the plush sofa has elegant lines topped with bright throw pillows casually 28

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

scattered across the cushions. Simple and understated or outrageous and fun, every detail has been meticulously chosen in a way that makes it feel like nothing was chosen at all—that it all just happened. It’s enough to make an interior decorator green with jealousy or a hobbyist home designer pink with excitement. Every corner of Classic Furniture in Sabraton offers some new treasure, be

it a pair of Classic Furniture bronze wall 1537 Sabraton Avenue sconces shaped 304.284.8890 like bejeweled classicfurnituremorgantown.com peasant girls, a Monet reproduction hanging next to the life-like depictions of 19th century botanical art, or a five-foot podium hiding secret compartments. “I try to find accessories, furniture pieces, and things that people aren’t going to see in every store,” says Scott Anderson, Classic Furniture co-owner. “I want something different so that when people purchase here they have something that fits their aesthetic and isn’t in every house down the row.” Scott and his business partner Ed Keepers travel near and far to the find the merchandise they sell at Classic, looking for items that would fit all tastes and aesthetics while maintaining a uniqueness that Classic has become known for. The store opened in 2000 on Listravia Avenue before moving to its current location


on Sabraton Avenue. The whole impetus, Scott says, was to give Morgantown residents an option for the high-end furniture then only available in larger metro areas. “I was not seeing high-end rugs, furniture, and quality merchandise being sold in town,” Scott says. “People said it would never fly—that people around here wouldn’t want higher end merchandise—and I always thought they do want it, but they have to go to Washington, D.C., or Pittsburgh to get it. Why not get it here?” The gamble paid off. After 15 years in business, Scott says Classic’s customer base continues to grow, including homeowners and area decorators alike. In addition to selling furniture, the store offers personalized interior decorating services, custom window treatments and wallpaper, home staging, and service galore. A popular annual sale and customer club program keep customers coming back for more. Scott recently purchased the building

where the store now sits and has future plans to double the showroom space. The interior designers at Classic Furniture, of which there are five, focus on quality in addition to design. “Whereas many designers see something as beautiful and they want to put it in a space, I want it beautiful and well made because I know how things are supposed to be made,” Scott says. Before opening Classic, Scott worked in antique restoration with artisan cabinetmakers and upholsterers for nearly 30 years, experiencing firsthand the quality of old world furnishings that were made to last. “I call it heirloom quality,” he says of the items he now sells. “I can’t go to lower end stuff because I look at it and it’s garbage. I look at the internal structure as well as the external.” A shopper can see immediately how that focus sets Classic apart from any old furniture store. From the finishes to the hardware, each piece is exquisitely crafted. “Rugs to me are like a painting,” Scott says

of some of his favorite items to find. In a way they represent the ultimate luxury— lavish, handmade items destined to cushion furniture and feet from harder materials. “It’s a piece of art,” Scott says. “It may take five to 10 years to make a hand-knotted rug. That is an incredible feat for someone to make. The workmanship is unmatched, and we’re losing that as far as the big box stores go.” While each piece has a particular story and each has been handpicked by just a few individuals, the styles within the store vary widely from contemporary to mid-century modern to traditional and everything in between. “A lady who owned a furniture store in Morgantown once told me, ‘Buy the purple leather sofa,’” Scott says. “Not everyone is going to want the purple leather sofa. But the one client that does will come in, see it, and love it.” written by Katie Griffith photographed by Carla Witt Ford morgantownmag.Com



Tax Talk KNOW This

Who should pay for the stuff we want? and you’ll be able to follow Morgantown City Council’s important discussion on the city’s budget and tax structure.

• Almost 70 percent of the $25 million

budget comes from business and occupation taxes and property taxes. That means the cost of operating the city is shouldered by the people who live and run businesses here.

• A more up-to-date approach would have commuters and visitors foot some of the bill. “People say, ‘Woe is us. Our tax revenues are flat,’” says Jenny Selin. Jenny was mayor for two years until July 7, when council chose Marti Shamberger for 2015-17. Revenues are worse than flat: Up just 3 percent since 2007-08, they lag behind the period’s cumulative 15 percent inflation. “Yet we have lots of expectations in Morgantown,” Jenny says. “That we take care of our roads and our fire and police departments and move forward on quality-of-life issues.” Drivers know the roads, just one of her examples, are not taken care of. Funding of $1 million a year would make for a 33-year paving cycle— and the roads get nowhere near $1 million. Morgantown simply needs more money. Maybe that’s because its tax structure could use an update, as city leaders learned at a West Virginia Municipal League (WVML) conference in February. “All the other communities of size in West Virginia—Huntington, Charleston, Parkersburg, Wheeling—have implemented sales taxes or user fees or both,” Jenny says. “(WVML Executive Director) Lisa Dooley said we need to rely less on B&O and property taxes and broaden our tax base. She was flat-out surprised that Morgantown had not done this.” Looking for a quick revenue boost, city staff found that the B&O tax on service providers like lawyers and accountants was low compared with surrounding and similar-sized cities. Council increased the tax from $0.55 to $0.75 per $100 as of July 1, adding perhaps $500,000 in revenue for 2015-16. 30

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

A Little Gravitas

Got an opinion about taxes? Visit morgantownwv.gov to take the city’s survey. Attend a meeting Council deliberates each first and third Tuesday and meets on the last Tuesday of the month in work sessions where no formal action is taken. All meetings are open to the public and take place at 7 p.m. in council chambers at 389 Spruce Street.

Now council is considering tapping more of the people who enjoy the city. “If we had a sales tax, any visitor who buys something would pay that,” Jenny says. “If we had a fee based on, for instance, employment in the city, employees who come in from outside would help pay for the roadways they travel on, or police and fire, or other amenities that so far only city residents pay for.” A 1 percent sales tax might bring in $4 million, according to City Manager Jeff Mikorski, and a $2 per week employment fee could generate $3.2 million—altogether, more than $7 million. New taxes always raise fears that activity may retreat to the outskirts of town, places like University Town Centre or Suncrest Towne Centre. Asked how the city would counter that, Jeff points to the 2014 Morgantown Retail Feasibility Study. “Rates per square foot downtown are much lower than the outlying areas, and spaces are smaller so they’re more cost-efficient for start-up businesses,” he says. “Improving pedestrian quality, parking, the perceived safety of the downtown—if we address the recommendations from the study, we’re hoping that will attract start-up businesses and generate retail.” The new CVS store at Spruce and Willey streets may anchor that, he notes, and the upcoming Walnut streetscape project will extend recent improvements beyond High Street. Council took up these ideas in earnest in July. It can act without referendum. written by Pam Kasey

West Virginia University

➼ Understand just two things


➼ Although the apple that opened Isaac Newton’s eyes to the workings of gravity did not fall on his head, as schools once taught, archival material released in 2010 shows he did see the apple fall. Now a descendant of Newton’s Flower of Kent apple tree grows on the grounds of WVU’s downtown library, planted there by the university in April 2015. The tree was awarded to retired U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for his science policy leadership. Rockefeller supported science and discovery as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College, then as West Virginia’s governor, and finally during his 30-year career in the U.S. Senate. Donated by Rockefeller to WVU, the sapling could flower within five years, but eating the fruit is not to be eagerly anticipated: The pear-shaped Flower of Kent cultivar is “mealy, and sub-acid, and of generally poor quality by today’s standards,” says Wikipedia. WVU joins MIT and just a handful of other U.S. universities that have Newton trees. written by Pam Kasey


Shane Lyons ➼ February brought a new athletic director to WVU. The former AD, Oliver Luck, had announced his move to the NCAA headquarters in December, and his successor, Shane Lyons, was formally introduced mere weeks later. A WVU alum, native West Virginian, and a veteran of sports administration, Shane came from a position as deputy athletic director at the University of Alabama and his arrival at WVU was well met. Since then, Shane has spent months learning the ins and outs of WVU sports to formulate a plan for the future of the programs. He’s happy to be home, and even happier to be home in athletics. “My passion has always been sports,” Shane says. “I’m not sure what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for sports. I consider myself as having the best job around.” Like a circus master, his business is entertainment. But an AD’s job isn’t just to sit back and enjoy the ride. “Many people think that when you work in athletics you get to go to games all the time, but I look at it from a different aspect,” he says. “When fans go to the game, they worry about where they’ll park and if their hotdogs will be hot. When I go to the game, I worry about where 65,000 people will park and if 65,000 hotdogs will be hot.” We sat down with Shane to talk about priorities and what WVU fans can expect in the coming year. written and photographed by katie griffith

On the Backyard Brawl I’ve had conversations with the University of Pittsburgh’s new athletic director. Those conversations will continue to evolve. It’s not as simple as saying, “Hey we’re going to play a game.” It’s looking at our dates, looking at their dates, and how we match those things up, but it’s a priority of mine. I think it’s good for us, I think its good for Pitt, and I think it’s good for college football.

On facility upgrades We’re working on upgrading some facilities, and a lot of that will be adding a strength and conditioning facility for our Olympic sports as well as a new training room and a renovation of the Shell Building. From a sport-by-sport basis we’re in pretty decent shape, but our current strength and condition areas and training areas are completely outdated. We’ll be looking at some things with swimming and diving. Obviously we’ll continue to look at football and consider changes to football. There are some things in fan enhancement in the coliseum area as well.

On strategy I’m trying to make sure we have a comprehensive athletics program, both athletically and academically. We have football and men’s basketball as our revenue-generating sports, but I also need to make sure I’m looking at the other programs and how we can make them successful within the Big 12 and nationally.

On big changes I’ve never been the administrator to come in and make changes just to make changes. I want to feel it out. Over time I’ve seen that what works at one school doesn’t necessarily work at another. It’s different towns, different cultures, different athletic programs.

Why facilities? I think that’s where people really see the change. I go with the philosophy that if you’re building, fans will come, and it helps with recruiting. Baseball is the proof of that. The baseball program will continue to grow because people enjoy going out to a great ballpark.

across county lines

A Well-Planned Getaway Courtesy of Genesis Partners

Charles Pointe in Bridgeport offers a convenient lifestyle with a friendly neighborhood feel. ➼


eavy summer heat and clouds the color of coal don’t faze Alexa Rinschler. She’s on a mission. Juggling an armful of fresh green zucchini and yellow squash, she frees one hand to grab a container of cherry tomatoes at the next booth over. “I got what I came for. I’m ready to make dinner,” says

the Clarksburg resident while visiting her usual weekly haunt, the Bridgeport Farmers Market. The market is located at Charles Pointe, an expansive development dotted with colorful shrubbery along manicured streets, just off Interstate 79. Across the crowd-filled, gravel walkway, Deb Workman, treasurer of the market’s board of directors, hands out information on market wares and various reasons

to buy local. “I really enjoy the mix of people we get here—neighbors, strangers, people just passing through, others who live down the street,” she says. Though the market is a popular attraction in North Central West Virginia, it’s only one element of Charles Pointe, the $1.4 billion planned community that includes a bevy of commercial, residential, and recreational properties. But the market does represent what the development strives to be—a place where friends meet, families gather, and visitors linger. “‘Live, work, play’ is actually our motto,” says Scott Duarte, director of hospitality for Genesis Partners, the group developing Charles Pointe. “We wanted to offer a comfortable, accessible lifestyle with a distinctly neighborhood feel.” The master-planned community spans more than 1,700 acres in Bridgeport, at a convenient location along the I-79 HighTech Corridor. Pull off Exit 124 at Jerry morgantownmag.Com


across county lines

Dove Drive and you’ll find a development full of restaurants, business offices, residential space, a conference center, and a recreation complex, as well as a host of other amenities.



Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

One of the few coal fired pizza ovens in the state can be found at Mia Margherita. “This is how pizza was meant to be prepared,” says Scott Duarte, founder of the restaurant.

Plans are in the works for an indoor addition to complement the existing Bridgeport Recreation Complex, which features state-of-the-art baseball fields.

Courtesy of Genesis Partners; Carla witt Ford; Bridgeport Parks and Recreation

At Meagher’s Irish Pub (26 Betten Court #101, 304.848.9200), across the way from the farmers’ market, Jamie Davis of Fairmont is among a number of people discovering all Charles Pointe has to offer—while sampling one of 80 different brews, including 20 West Virginia craft beers. “This is my first time here, and it’s just an awesome place,” Jamie says. “We just finished a great dinner, and topping that off with a beer tasting is terrific.” Meagher’s is a family-friendly restaurant and offers an assortment of food—from New York strip steak to soups and salads— but the restaurant prides itself on its traditional Irish dishes, too. Ethnic entrees such as Irish sausages served over mashed potatoes and gravy, known as bangers and mash, and a unique take on a classic potato pancake called boxty dot the extensive menu. Patrons also enjoy live local music on Saturday nights as well as specials during the week, such as Ladies Pint Out on Thursdays. “We get customers from all over the state because this is such a cool place,” says bartender Shannon Boswell. “It’s a great meeting place for folks.” Nearby, Mia Margherita (139 Conference Way, 304.808.6400) has Morgantown residents making the 40-minute drive to Bridgeport for dinner. “Mia Margherita is a really amazing place to eat,” says Scott, who opened the restaurant in 2013. “It’s known for its coal-fired pizza, which is how pizza was originally introduced in America. With coal and pizza, it actually pays homage to West Virginia’s rich Italian and coalmining heritage.” The restaurant boasts one of the few coal-fired ovens in the state, a sleek décor, and locally sourced foods. In addition to pizza, Mia Margherita serves up authentic Italian sandwiches and casseroles, salads, and traditional soups and stews, complete with a wine and cocktail bar. Next-door, Mia Market (139 Conference Way, Suite 137, 304.808.6400) offers a full Italian deli-style market with meats, cheeses, specialty relishes and olives, soups, salads, sandwiches, and Mia Margherita pizza by the slice. The deli also features coffee, espresso, a wine shop, and local craft beers.

across county lines

The Bridgeport Farmers Market The Bridgeport Farmers Market is open Sundays, May through October, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on the second Sunday of the month, November through April, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bridgeport Conference Center. There, 40 vendors sell a variety of items from West Virginia, including seasonal organic produce and fruit, eggs, butter, grass-fed beef and non-GMO chicken. Booths also feature honey, jams and jellies, homemade pies and breads, gourmet cupcakes, and ice cream, in addition to artisan-made items like hardwood bowls, pottery, handmade jewelry, and all-natural body lotions and soaps as well as scarves, socks, and gloves made from alpaca fibers.

Carla Witt ford

Play Many commercial businesses have also found a home at Charles Pointe, including an accounting firm, a clothing store and dry cleaner, a pharmacy, a pediatric medical facility, and a day care center, but one of the main attractions is the Bridgeport Recreation Complex (425 Forrester Boulevard, 304.842.8240). Boasting four well-equipped baseball fields in addition to a multi-purpose field for soccer, football, or lacrosse, the complex was completed in 2012. It hosts more than a dozen tournaments each year during spring and summer weekends, making the develop-

ment a busy tourist destination. “We’re getting a lot of travelers eating at our restaurants and stopping at our businesses,” Scott says. The complex is located on Forrester Boulevard, near the intersection of Route 279 and Route 131. Other outdoor amenities include two miles of off-road trails and a playground, while plans for an orchard, vineyard, and a working farm sit in the not-so-distant future. “Charles Pointe is just an exceptional multi-use development that really does offer something for everybody,” says Michelle Duez, executive director of the Greater Bridgeport Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“It has brought a lot to the area, and it has plans for growth, which is very exciting.” But the development is far from finished, with 80 percent of the space still open for business and residential development. Plans for growth include an indoor recreation complex to complement the current sports facility, a marketplace that will house the farmers’ market, and an expanded Bridgeport Conference Center (300 Conference Center Way, 304.808.3000).

Stay At the heart of the Charles Pointe development, the conference center holds meetings, retreats, workshops, and wedding receptions, hosting about 50,000 visitors a year. The new, expanded facility will be a separate building on the same campus, with state-of-the-art amenities and a ballroom. The development currently offers two hotels for visitors looking to spend the night—the Wingate and Microtel, both operated by Wyndham. But developers are working on plans to add another full-service hotel connected to the new conference center. “The new center will give us a much broader range of facilities to attract larger crowds and bigger meetings,” Scott says. “We look for it to have a significant economic impact because it will generate revenue for both Bridgeport and Harrison County. It promises to be a huge draw to Charles Pointe.” written by pam marra morgantownmag.Com


Dish It out

Diamond in the Rough

Ogawa Japanese Restaurant serves up fresh, authentic sushi with a Morgantown twist. ➼


on’t judge a book by its cover—that adage was made for Ogawa Japanese Restaurant, Morgantown’s sushi haven in Evansdale. From the outside, or the backside, where a gravel triangle provides the restaurant’s 36

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

main parking area, Ogawa isn’t much to look at. With its Spartan brick exterior, dark windows, and location in the shadow of WVU’s Towers housing complex and the busy University Avenue thoroughfare, it’s easy to miss. But as Ogawa’s owner Hee Cho says, “Ogawa’s exterior is rough,

humble, but the Ogawa inside and the 2920 University Avenue sushi are very, 304-598-8338 very beautiful.” ogawasushi.com The first time you push past the glass front doors into the dining area, you’ll probably do a double take. Cast in a dim blue-green light and decorated in shoji screens, fans, paper lanterns, masks, and decorative saki sets, Ogawa’s interior is as unique and creatively detailed as its exterior is austere. Hee Cho, affectionately known as Mr. Hee among his young waitstaff, puts all his efforts into the dining experience. Grab a table or sit at the bar, and Mr. Hee just may wait on you himself. He’ll be the older gentleman wearing a black and white hat and neatly pressed shirt. Ask him what’s the best thing on the long, complex menu and he’ll scoff good-naturedly. “This

Dish It out

Chef Kwon dishes it out

Vegetable Sushi

Sushi 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar splash of rice wine 1½ cups short-grained sushi rice 1½ cups water 4 sheets toasted nori

Filling ½ cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks 1 carrot, cut into ½-inch sticks ½ semi-firm avocado, peeled, thinly sliced, and sprinkled with lemon juice Special equipment: sushi mat For the rice Rinse the rice and drain. Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer while tightly covered. Cook 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Do not uncover. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Using a fork, fluff or loosen the rice and transfer it to a bowl. Add the vinegar mixture and toss to coat. Spread the rice on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Allow rice to cool completely then cover with a damp towel to prevent drying out.

is the best sushi in West Virginia or Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh is nothing,” he’ll say. But he says his favorites are probably the Blue and Gold Roll, made with spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, lobster salad, and fresh salmon topped with fish eggs known as Masago and a spicy sauce, or the Morgantown Roll with shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, Masago, cream cheese, spicy tuna, tempura crunches, and eel sauce. The most popular dishes include the Mountaineer Roll, a deep fried California roll topped with smoked salmon, eel, tempura crunches, and eel sauce, and the WVU Roll, a shrimp tempura roll topped with salmon, tuna, whitefish, tempura crunches, and spicy sauce.

Sushi For newcomers to the world of sushi and sashimi, sushi is very basically defined as cooked, vinegared rice combined with other ingredients—cooked fish, raw fish, vegetables, or even fruit. Nigiri sushi consists of a slice of raw fish pressed over a rectangle of sushi rice. Sashimi, on the other hand, is actually sliced meat—often raw fish but not always—served without rice, typically over a bed of daikon radish. You can find these and variations of these creations as well as teriyakis, noodle dishes, and more at Ogawa. Many dishes are fusions of Japanese, Korean, and American flavors, Mr. Hee says.

To assemble the rolls Lightly steam the cucumber and carrots, and set aside. Place your sushi mat with the slats running horizontally in front of you on a flat surface (lay down a sheet of plastic wrap first if you prefer). Lay down a sheet of nori, shiny side down, and align with the edge of the mat closest to you. Dip your fingers in water and evenly press about ¼ of the rice onto the nori, with 1 ½-inches uncovered at the far edge. Line up the fillings evenly across the rice, about 1 inch from the edge closest to you. Beginning with the edge closest to you, tightly roll the nori, rice, and fillings into a horizontal cylinder. Firmly tug on the rounded mat over the roll as you pull on the far edge of the mat to tighten the roll. Open the mat, dab the unsealed edge of the nori with water, and roll the sushi forward to seal it. Transfer the sushi to a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Repeat with remaining rice and fillings. Cut each sushi roll crosswise into about eight pieces with a sharp, wet knife. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping. Yield: About four servings morgantownmag.Com


Dish It out

But really, “Our sushi is famous,” Mr. Hee says. Meaning, it’s all great. A native of Korea, Mr. Hee has more than 16 years of experience creating sushi masterpieces and has been at Ogawa for five years, but only recently as owner. He started as a manager at Ogawa when Gunn Hong, a former head sushi chef at a Hilton Hotel, was the owner. Before coming to Morgantown, Mr. Hee had been a sushi chef himself at hotels in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He came to Morgantown to escape the crowds and bustle of larger metropolitan areas. “Morgantown has the university, the riverside, and the environment is very good—clear skies and the air is fresh,” he says. “When I lived in D.C., there were too many people and so many cars and air pollution. People here are very intelligent, gentile, high class, and there is low crime.” The university population, especially, crowds Ogawa’s dining area on the lunch hour when, Monday through Friday from 38

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a lunch box special is just $6.95 and comes with miso soup, salad, a hot item like tempura vegetables, and either a roll, nigiri sushi, or a sashimi chosen from the mile-long menu. For $1 upcharge you can get two sushi items but no kitchen item, or for a $2 upcharge you can get two kitchen items and no sushi. Even at the tail end of summer, when WVU students are trickling into the city again after the long break, the tables at Ogawa are packed with professors, graduate students, athletes, union workers, families, and tourists lucky enough to have a Morgantown local guide them here. Ogawa’s patrons are fiercely loyal. They voted this little restaurant “Best of Morgantown” for sushi three years in row. And Mr. Hee is keeping up with trends, his staff says. He recently incorporated a special called Sake Bomb Hour to bring more people in for the dinner rush. The special runs 4:15 to 6 p.m. with discounts on items

like the sake bomb—a beer cocktail made by dropping a shot of sake into a mug of beer—as well as $2 domestic beers, $1 PBRs, and half-priced mixed drinks. But Mr. Hee says Ogawa’s success has a simple recipe. It’s a mixture of melding traditional and new flavors, using the freshest ingredients, and providing exceptional service—even at the height of the lunch rush, the staff is smiling and the food comes out perfectly prepared. But it’s also about trying new things and letting the customer have the final say. Almost every dish on the menu has been customer-tested and approved. “Many people from Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., say they prefer our sushi. If I try something, I give it to the customer to decide,” he says. “If they like it, if they enjoy themselves, they come again.” written by Mikenna Pierotti photographed by Carla Witt Ford



the U

Building a Bridge

The Art Museum of West Virginia University promises to connect university and community in a new way. ➼


rench writer and social activist Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Standing in the lobby of the new Art Museum of West Virginia University, craning your head to take in a vibrant red, white, and black multi-story, graffiti-inspired mural, you can’t help but wonder if Merton had a place like this in mind—a space where art, academia,


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

and the human imagination are free to converse. “Each time I come in here I see something I hadn’t noticed before,” says Joyce Ice, art museum director. The museum is slated to open in late August 2015, but right now its doors are closed and its lobby echoes with the drone of machinery as workers apply finishing touches to landscaping. Yet it isn’t hard to imagine streams of people passing through the space—brightly lit from floor-to-ceiling windows—on their way to an exhibit or

to a class. Passing the mural they would stop to stare at its sharp colors and eerily disembodied forms, turning to a neighbor and starting a conversation. Joyce says interactions like these were the impetus for installing such a showstopper right in the entrance of the museum. “We think this piece is something students and people of all ages will respond to. It also illustrates our focus.” To demonstrate, she climbs the glass staircase opposite the mural and considers the piece again. From this vantage the image changes. Angles and details bleed together and the mural’s meaning explodes in new directions. “We want to encourage people to take different perspectives on the art they encounter. When and where you are looking at it changes your view. In the same way, people come at art from many different directions and bring their own experiences to it. People are not blank slates.” Museums are imagined as places of quiet, lonely contemplation, but Joyce contends the best ones are intrinsically social. In an age of digital art and virtual libraries, the simple act of seeing and pondering something alongside another human being has become precious. “I think museums are exciting places to be because we come to them not only to learn, but also to share the experience with other people,” she says. “And there’s just no substitute for standing next to a work of art and seeing that depth and detail.” The highly anticipated art museum on the Evansdale Campus has been in the works since before Joyce came on board in 2009. “At that point we thought maybe 2012 would be our opening date. This is not unusual for any construction project,” she says, adding that museums are particularly prone to delays. In preparation for construction Joyce and university officials visited museums and spoke with other experts, started a collections committee to decide which works to acquire, and collected donated art and funds. Arrangements were even made to clean works like famed West Virginia artist Blanche Lazzell’s courthouse mural, a prized piece in the collection. In terms of construction, special technologies for temperature and humidity control had to be added, door heights and hallway widths had to be perfectly calculated to accommodate movement of art of varying sizes, and loading areas and special storage rooms had to be planned and approved. Every inch of the new museum was a multi-tiered project. At the same time, the museum’s role

The U

as an aesthetic experience necessitated touches like wide windows overlooking a future sculpture garden and colorful furniture from the acclaimed Maya Lin Studio. “It’s so important to have the right environment in a museum setting,” Joyce says. “There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure all the systems function as they should. We are entrusted with making sure the art collection isn’t only accessible now to academics, students, and the community, but also to future generations—so they can appreciate it, enjoy it, learn from it.” Today the art museum comprises two integrated facilities off Patteson Drive. One, the 1986 Erickson Alumni Center designed by Michael Graves, was renovated in 2010 and is now called the Museum Education Center. It houses museum offices and space for educational programs, lectures, performances, and receptions. In the future it will include a bookstore and a gift shop with refreshments. The museum itself is a new building designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears of Atlanta. Located between the Museum Education Center and the Creative Arts Center, it is connected to the former by an enclosed walkway. The museum boasts all the necessary high-tech accommodations—including temperature, lighting, and humidity controls—to meet professional museum criteria, and it houses nearly 3,000 works of art from across the world. Most of that collection had been stored in the downtown library, but in August museum visitors can peruse approximately 5,400 square feet of bamboo-floored exhibition space and see some of those works in a whole new light. Researchers, students, visiting scholars, curators, and artists will have their own smart classroom and study room for closer examination of the museum’s collection. Academically housed in the university’s College of Creative Arts, the museum, Joyce believes, will allow students, artists, and the community to engage with the university in new ways. “We are talking about art having that capacity to communicate,” she says. “What is the meaning of this piece created decades ago that still speaks to us today? We are encouraging those kinds of conversations to take place in the galleries.” Others with ties to the university community see the benefits of having a world-class museum at their fingertips, too. Generous donations from philanthropists like Gloria Plevin, John and Ruth McGee, Joginder Nath, and Harvey and Jennifer

The WVU art museum is slated to open in August 2015 and is home to nearly 3,000 works of art from around the world. Joyce Ice, art museum director, hopes the museum will become a gathering place for the community and university staff and students.



the U

The museum has special temperature, humidity, and lighting controls to preserve the art.

Peyton have supported construction. “We want to be that connecting point between the campus, the community, and visitors to Morgantown. We are positioned as a bridge between them,” Joyce says. With free public programs like the Art Up Close lecture series, where attendees get the chance to see and discuss original works of art alongside WVU faculty from a range of backgrounds—women’s studies, history, religious studies, and music—as well as summer institutes for West Virginia teachers in the arts and humanities, Joyce hopes the museum will become a gathering place. “In the future people might drop by on their lunch hour to listen to student musicians doing practice performances, see an Art Up Close lecture, or to get out into the sculpture 42

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

garden and walk around,” she says. “There are wonderful possibilities, some we haven’t even realized yet, for outreach and for being a place the community feels belongs to them, which it does.” Robert Bridges, museum curator, agrees. “Art shouldn’t be something people are intimidated by. It should be something to experience and enjoy,” he says. “I don’t mean the kind of passive experience you might have at a concert or basketball game, but one where you’re actively engaging with the museum. We don’t want people to just come once and be done. We want them to be intrigued enough to want to come back. We want them to bring friends and family.” What can visitors expect of their first glimpse of a facility more than five years in the making? Robert says the museum’s

inaugural exhibit—Visual Conversations: Looking and Listening—is a perfect illustration. Rather than displaying pieces chronologically, Robert plans to create thought-provoking, discussion-inspiring arrangements. “We will be putting these great pieces together to create visual conversations,” he says. A cluster of human forms from artists across the world, the same vista painted by two artists from different times—Robert hopes visitors will be as inspired by the possibilities as he is. “Some things will be overt and some things will be a little more subtle and will reveal themselves over time and over different visits. This exhibit is meant to be a catalyst of ideas.” artmuseum.wvu.edu written by Mikenna Pierotti photographed by Carla Witt Ford


Focus West Virginia

Building a better state one issue at a time

A Magazine from New South Media, Inc., the publisher of WV Living, WV Weddings, & Morgantown magazines Subscribe online at

wvfocus.com/subscribe or call 304.413.0104

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healthy living

A Pardon for Partiers Medical amnesty is key in changing university and state culture. ➼


n September 2012, Kurt Myers died of alcohol poisoning. Peer pressure led Kurt, a sophomore at Wheeling Park High School, to drink a lot of alcohol in a short period of time. Fear prevented his peers from calling for help. “Losing a brother to alcohol poisoning—which could have been prevented—creates an immediate lifelong heartache,” says former WVU student Lauren Myers. For the past three years, Lauren and her family have taken every opportunity to educate young people about the potentially fatal consequences of experimenting with alcohol or drugs and encouraging them, in all circumstances, to make that important call for help. “It is a heartache that cannot be imagined,” Lauren says, “and one that I would not want anyone else to experience.” But someone else did. In November 2014 freshman and fraternity pledge Nolan Burch was found unconscious in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house following a night of heavy drinking. He died two days later. Nolan’s death made national news, putting WVU’s struggle to reform student partying culture under fierce scrutiny. At that time, WVU’s Student Government Association was already working to enact medical amnesty: the right to seek help for a person who is sick or unconscious due to overdose without fear of ramification. The SGA and Student Advocates for Legislative Advancement began work back in 2013 to get policies adopted at the university and state levels. A representative of both organizations, Kristen Pennington said she and her peers conducted research on the proposed bill and delivered their findings to West Virginia Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D-Monongalia). “She really took it from there and fought to make it pass,” Kristen says. Minority chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, Barbara says she was moved by the enthusiasm of the WVU representation, which included students and staff. She also had an underlying passion for the cause. “Friends of mine had a son who died of a heroin overdose,” she says. “He was from a well-liked family in Morgantown, and nobody had any idea he was experimenting. He was a great student and had just gotten a new job.” He died at a party at his parents’ house while they were out of town. “Nobody called 911,” Barbara says. 44

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Concerned by the enormous increase in overdose deaths from opioids, legislators from the southern part of the state were at the same time working on amnesty legislation targeting drug overdoses. A bill introduced at the request of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, combining legislation developed during 2013 and 2014 interim study sessions, was passed in March of 2015. Known as the Alcohol and Drug Overdose Prevention and Clemency Act, it went into effect June 12. The key provision of the bill is amnesty. “The person who makes the 911 phone call is completely exonerated,” Barbara says. “That person gets off without any repercussions as long as they stay with the person and cooperate with authorities.” That means the caller must identify himself if requested and provide information needed to assist with the victim’s treatment. The person experiencing the alcohol or drug overdose may also be eligible for immunity and clemency after completing a substance abuse or recovery program approved by the court. In May, soon after the state’s bill passed, WVU Vice President of Student Life William Schafer announced plans for the university’s medical amnesty policy to the WVU Faculty Senate. The policy is yet to be finalized, says WVU President Gordon Gee, but he expects the policy to change university culture. “Part of being a Mountaineer is looking out for each other, so there should be nothing that causes a person to hesitate when they see a fellow Mountaineer in distress,” he says. “An amnesty program does just that.” WVU believes the policy will encourage students to make responsible decisions and alert authorities when they see someone in medical distress from alcohol or drugs, says Dean of Students Corey Farris. “In those situations, we want our students’ first thought to be ‘How can I help?’ and not to worry about possible disciplinary action. We want them to contact emergency responders when they believe someone has alcohol poisoning or has overdosed. We hope that a 911 call can be made early enough to help save a life.” As of mid-July, the university was in the process of hiring a new director of student conduct whose responsibilities will be, in part, to implement the policy during the 2015-16 school year. The legislation and the university’s policy go hand in hand,

We want our students’ first thought to be ‘How can I help?’ and not to worry about possible disciplinary action. We want them to contact emergency responders when they believe someone has alcohol poisoning or has overdosed. We hope that a 911 call can be made early enough to help save a life.” Corey Farris, WVU dean of students

Corey says. “Just as our legislators want to help the citizens of our state who may have abused alcohol or drugs to the point of a medical emergency, so does WVU.” Lauren believes the policy and the law are important victories for the university and the state of West Virginia. Perhaps if her little brother’s friends hadn’t been afraid to call for help, things would have turned out differently. “It’s sad to think that a 911 call wasn’t made when Kurt was in danger. Just a simple call or knock on the door could have saved my brother’s life.” That’s why it is so important for students to do what’s right, she says. “Now, not only can they follow their moral compasses, but they can do so knowing that this policy is here to back them up.” written by julie perine

By The Numbers

How West Virginia and WVU rank in drug and alcohol arrests and disciplinary action compared with the national experience. Drug Arrests on College Campuses by State per 1,000 Students, 2013 1. Wyoming


2. South Dakota 3.6 3. West Virginia


4. North Dakota


5. Montana


WVU ranked #17 in a campus-specific study with a rate of 7.1 arrests per 1,000 students. Drug Disciplinary Actions on College Campuses per 1,000 Students, 2013 1. Vermont


2. Maine


3. Hawaii


4. West Virginia


5. Montana


WVU did not rank in the top 50 in this category. Alcohol Arrests on College Campuses by State per 1,000 Students, 2013 1. Wyoming


2. South Dakota


3. West Virginia


4. North Dakota


5. New Hampshire


WVU ranked #2 in a campus-specific study with a rate of 23.8 arrests per 1,000 students. Alcohol Disciplinary Actions on College Campuses per 1,000 students, 2013 1. Vermont


2. West Virginia


3. South Dakota


4. North Dakota


5. Connecticut


WVU ranked #22 in a campus-specific study with a rate of 65.9 actions per 1,000 students. Source: U.S. Department of Education data compiled by projectknow.com



your guide to

and enjoying all its perks

ook out from any vantage point in Morgantown and you’ll see it. Whether it’s the view from The Montmartre at the top of the Hotel Morgan, the vista from the Monongalia County Ballpark in Granville, or a nighttime panorama from the deck of your friend’s house at the top of Van Voorhis in Suncrest, it’s there. Maybe you see the WVU Coliseum or the football stadium. Maybe it’s the winding track of the PRT, or maybe it’s just a Flying WV affixed to a water tower—WVU is all around us. Unlike other college towns that have grown up around picturesque and self-contained ivy-covered campuses or settled neatly in single districts of large cities, WVU’s growth and that of Morgantown are inextricably tied. It’s a picturesque campus, yes. But it’s hardly self-contained.

What would Morgantown be without a WVU? Perhaps a booming beacon of growth in North Central West Virginia, but it could just as easily be a sleepy town along the Monongahela River. According to a recently released WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research study, the university is a driving force behind the economic growth in our region, accounting directly for nearly 16,000 jobs and indirectly for another 10,500. But WVU is more than an employer in Morgantown. It’s more than its sporting events, more than its iconic buildings, and more than the students who flood into town each semester. It’s all of these things, and a center of cultural diversity, of research and educational capital, and of recreational resources. Townies new and old, native and transplant—there are many reasons you call Morgantown home. These are just a few of them.

Katie Griffith

written by Katie Griffith

Morgantown by the numbers Morgantown full-time population

30,666 WVU main campus 2014 enrollment


The Services You Didn’t Know You Had WVU offers 193 degree programs employing more than 3,000 faculty and instructors, both full- and part-time. We’re not going to do the math, but suffice it to say that’s a lot of man-hours of expertise right at our fingertips. Of course, these experts’ main priority is their research and their students, but they also offer their services to the community—sometimes for free. Here are just a few of those services you may not even know you have access to.


Need a lawyer—without a bill? The WVU College of Law offers nine award-winning law clinics that are great resources for anyone from veterans to entrepreneurs. Established in 1976, the programs provide more than 40,000 hours of pro bono legal aid each year. Law students supervised by law professors handle cases in areas including civil practice, child and family law, entrepreneurship and innovation law, immigration law, tax law, land use and sustainable development, veterans’ assistance, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Innocence Project. law.wvu.edu/clinics


Morgantown population when students are in town


60,000 and 65,000

WVU Make-up 51% Non Residents 49% WV Residents


Morgantown population growth 2010-2013

Sources: City of Morgantown, U.S. Census Bureau, West Virginia University

Many of us already go to WVU Healthcare for medical needs, but perhaps a little lesser known—and just as important to your micro world of hygiene—are the dental services offered by the WVU School of Dentistry. Faculty doctors offer a full range of services, general to specialty, including 24-hour emergency dental care. Also offering services are dental students and graduate dental students looking to advance their educations or specialize. These student services are supervised by school faculty, and care costs can come with steep discounts—20 to 50 percent less than the average costs of private professional care. wvuhealthcare.com/hospitals-and-facilities/wvu-dental-care


One of the university’s most recognized arms of community involvement—ever heard of 4-H?—is the WVU Extension Service. The whole point of the program is to strengthen communities, a mission as old as our land-grant institution itself. Extension reaches all 55 of West Virginia’s counties with offices and experts spanning fields from agriculture to life skills to workforce development. The Monongalia County office offers a free nutrition education program to teach skills for healthy, safe, and affordable food preparation, summer learning programs for school children, classes and programs for gardener-wannabes and for experts, free soil analysis—the list goes on and on. monongalia.ext.wvu.edu

Get Money, Get Paid

$3.6 billion

WVU’s own estimated total economic impact on North Central West Virginia, including direct and indirect spending.

WVU spends just over $1.2 billion annually in employee salaries throughout North Central West Virginia.



A resource for your

Of course we have football in fall, basketball in spring, and now an improved baseball experience through summer, but when your evenings and weekends call for something other than a Flying WV painted on cheeks and pre-gaming in a pickup outside a stadium, WVU offers a plethora of options from enjoying an intimate graduate student concert at the Monongalia Arts Center to grabbing gear from the Outdoor Rec Center to take a hike (see page 66).

Culture and education

Museums, lectures, books, and more—these are just some of the cultural and educational perks we enjoy with WVU as a neighbor.

OPEN DOORS, OPEN BOOKS Between the Downtown Library Complex, the Evansdale Library, the Health Sciences Library, the Law Library, and the West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU boasts more than 2 million books, 48,000 journal subscriptions, 30,000 eBooks, 45,700 electronic journals, and access to nearly 250 information databases. Many of these services are open to the public, though you must be a student or faculty member to check out materials and use computers.

Science on Tap is back!

Initially launched in 2011 as an informal gathering of students, faculty, and community members interested in the sciences, Science on Tap takes over the Morgantown Brewing Company on the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 7 p.m. Grab a pint and settle in for a lesson on anything from the chemistry of artificial marijuana to the science of love—all led and lectured by WVU professors and researchers. Each program is announced ahead of time on the group Facebook page facebook.com/ScienceOnTapWestVirginia.

The WVU School of Art and Design will present a handful of speakers throughout the school year, including printmakers, sculptors, and design experts. artanddesign.wvu.edu/events-and-lecture-series *year-round

LECTURE LOVE Lectures are more fun when you go to them voluntarily—you learn a bit more, too—and WVU is nothing if not full of lectures. These aren’t the boring old lectures from Mom and Dad, these are expert economists, world leaders, and renowned artists. This list is far from exhaustive.

The WVU College of Business and Economics Distinguished Speaker Series features educational leaders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from across the world. Past speakers include the ambassador of the European Union to the United States and the CEO of Cisco. be.wvu.edu/speaker_series *year-round


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Presented by the Art Museum of West Virginia University, the Art Up Close! series features artwork and commentary by various WVU faculty, followed by discussion and refreshments. With the recent opening of the museum, these discussions will also center on pieces in the WVU collection. artmuseum.wvu.edu *year-round

Elizabeth Roth; Carla Witt Ford

One of the most recognized lecture series the university hosts, the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas has featured speakers such as Jerry West and Byron Pitts. festivalofideas.wvu.edu *year-round


With the prevalence of international students and language programs at each of WVU’s campuses, it’s not hard to learn about new cultures and make new friends while doing it. Language Tables These weekly get-togethers are open to anyone in the community who has some grasp of the langue du jour and who wants to practice speaking with professors, students, and other community members. Schedules and times vary, but last semester German Table and Russian Table took place at Morgantown Brewing Company and Black Bear, respectively. Sounds like a good excuse for a cold drink and chips.

Arabic Coffee Table Chinese Table English Table: Help teach WVU’s international students a bit about our culture! This is a great opportunity to earn service badges for Girl Scouts, 4-H, and other organizations, says Intensive English Program Director Stacy Flint.

La Table Francaise German Stammtisch Italian Table Japanese Table Portuguese Table Russian Table (русский кружок)

Elizabeth Roth

Become an English Language Partner In a program run by the WVU Department of World Languages and the Intensive English Program, students and community members are paired up for a bit of one-on-one conversation. Students may be new enrollees at WVU who need to brush up on language skills before they can go to class, or they might be professionals and students visiting for a semester. “People from the community are matched with a student and meet once a week in a public place to practice English,” says IEP Director Stacy Flint. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The WVU German program is hard at work offering lessons and services to the Morgantown community, from classes and after-school programs for local children to free tutoring for students interested in improving their German language skills. “Members of the community can go to the German Club Facebook page and get into contact with potential tutors,” says Cynthia Chalupa, director of WVU’s Basic German Language Program.

Community Music Lessons Available to adults, toddlers, amateur performers, professional musicians, and everyone in between, WVU’s Community Music Program includes group classes and private lessons. Many a townie’s first experience with a piano began in the depths of the Creative Arts Center practice rooms, where graduate students and professors tried to hammer home the importance of practicing basics. Try out the harp, violin, piano, and pipe organ, among others. Maybe even flex your vocal chords by singing in a choir for the first time. music.wvu.edu/cmp The CAC practice rooms are open to those in the Community Music Program for a $15 semester fee, allowing participants to reserve spaces for one hour per day, seven days a week. Sounds of the World Hundreds of students are enrolled in music programs at WVU, meaning just as many are scheduling individual, group, and ensemble performances throughout the academic year. These concerts don’t just take place in the various theaters throughout the Creative Arts Center—graduate performances can also be found at the Mon Arts Center and other venues in town. Check out the university calendar at cal.wvu.edu to find listings of everything from doctoral concerts for viola and piano to full performances of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, the WVU Opera Theatre, and more. Over the basics and ready to perform? The Morgantown Community Orchestra is open to youth, adults, and senior citizens at advanced or intermediate levels of musicianship. Visit the CMP website for more information.

Walk the Universe

The WVU Planetarium, located in White Hall on the downtown campus, offers five different shows a year that are free for the public to attend, though reservations are required. Each show begins with a lesson on the current sky, pointing out visible constellations and solar bodies, followed by an astronomy lesson and the program. Shows run most Fridays, beginning August 28 this year. The first two programs presented for the 2015-16 school year are To Space and Back and Impact Earth. planetarium.wvu.edu After your show, see the universe in HD at the WVU Observatory, boasting a 14-inch Celestron telescope. The observatory is open to public on the same evenings as the planetarium shows and doesn’t require reservations to visit, though the sky must be dark and clear to view anything out of this world.



RAINY DAY AT THE MUSEUM Perk up, Morgantown. You don’t have to drive all the way to Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C., for a stroll through museums. Though small, WVU’s many departments and programs offer myriad museum-style exhibits throughout town. From the recently completed WVU art museum (page 40) to visits to museums attached to the university's various sports facilities, there’s something to visit everywhere you turn.

Behind the WVU Coliseum sits the WVU Basketball Practice Facility and a museum dedicated exclusively to all things basketball. Visitors will find memorabilia, stats, touchscreen displays of basketball highlights, and stories of victory for both men and women. wvusports.com


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Elizabeth Roth

Robinson/Petroplus Hall of Traditions

A Leg Up on College Life Morgantown’s high school students can take WVU courses and earn college credit.

Cook-Hayman Pharmacy Museum Wander among wooden shelves displaying old-timey treatments and large glass orbs that harken to a time medicine was a little more quaint. pharmacy.hsc.wvu.edu Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum Located in WVU’s Mineral Resources Building on the Evansdale Campus, this museum takes visitors through the history of coal production and petroleum extraction in West Virginia. wattsmuseum.wvu.edu WVU Natural History Museum Housed in rooms 308 and 309 of Percival Hall in Evansdale, this museum offers a look at more than 400 specimens spanning mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles. wvnaturalhistory.wvu.edu

Elizabeth Roth (2); shutterstock

Mesaros Galleries Located in the Creative Arts Center, the Mesaros Galleries offer rotating displays of contemporary artwork—often complementing the college’s schedule of visiting artists. artmuseum.wvu.edu/about-us/mesaros-galleries Brohard Hall of Traditions Football fans, rejoice! This museum opened at the WVU football stadium in 2006 and features interactive displays, videos, and photos, recounting decades of Mountaineer football. wvusports.com West Virginia and Regional History Center Housed in the upper floors of WVU’s downtown library, this collection is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area, including maps, artifacts, photographs, manuscripts, books, and more. wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu

If there’s one educational perk to living in Morgantown, it’s WVU ACCESS—also known as WVU Release. Open to high school seniors, the program is an opportunity for students to take college courses for college and high school credit while still in high school. “It provides students the opportunity to have experience in an actual college setting, giving them an idea of expectations at the college level,” says Courtney Whitehead, director of assessment, accountability, and school counseling at Monongalia County Schools. “The credits transfer to WVU so students might have a little bit of a leg up, especially if they take credits in a field they are interested in pursuing as a major.” Students enrolled in the program can be released from the high school campus to take classes on the WVU college campus, as long as those classes are unavailable at the high school level. This could include anything from advanced foreign language classes to advanced math and science classes, plus a few scattered disciplines in between. The program offers additional opportunities for online courses, advanced college courses offered on the high school campus, and summer classes at WVU. “Currently we have students from both Morgantown High School and University High School who participate in WVU Release—the ACCESS program,” Courtney says. “It’s not limited to those high schools, but because of the distance traveling from Clay-Battelle to the university campus it’s difficult to be farther away.” To be eligible, students must have completed their junior years of high school with GPAs of 3.0 or higher and have the permission of their schools and guardians. For more information or to apply to WVU ACCESS, contact the WVU Office of Undergraduate Admissions.



The Recreation We All Enjoy

Fitness centers, summer camps, and sports expertise, physical fitness at WVU is more than football and the WVU Student Rec Center.

Stansbury Fitness Center Open to students, faculty, staff, and members of the public, Stansbury Fitness Center offers fitness assessments, personal training, and equipment including treadmills, bikes, weight machines, and more. The center is open during the university’s academic year and prorates fees for those who join the center throughout the semester. Visit cpass.wvu. edu/lap/stansbury_fitness_center for more information. National Youth Sports Program Open to children between the ages of 10 and 16, the WVU National Youth Sports Camp just finished its 28th season offering a summer recreation option 52

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

to local families. Fees for the program are based on a sliding scale. Lunches are included, and children receive instruction in sports like softball, basketball, tennis, and soccer, in addition to enrichment activities surrounding topics like math, science, technology, reading, and wellness. Learn more at nysp.wvu.edu. Healthy Kids Summer Camp It’s a favorite memory for some of us townies, spending summers in the E. Moore Hall pool, splashing with floaties and hiking and doing crafts. Learn more at cpass.wvu.edu/lap/healthykids_summercamp. Youth Sports Camps When WVU student athletes leave for the summer, local student athletes pour in. The university athletic department offers a host of summer options spanning one day to a weekend from volleyball clinics to an elite baseball camp for prospective WVU student athletes. Visit wvusports.com/ camps.cfm for more information.

WVU employees may be eligible for special discounts.

Katie Griffith

Lifetime Activities Program Those of us unlucky enough to have graduated and lost access to the beautiful WVU Student Rec Center need not get fat. The College of Physical Activity and Sports Services offers the Lifetime Activities Program, a set of services offering myriad physical recreation outlets. Think swimming, gymnastics, and summer camps for children and everything from summer Tai Chi and mental fortitude training to swimming, dance, and fencing lessons for adults. See a full list of activities, fees, and schedules at cpass.wvu.edu/lap.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly How to Survive a College Town The WVU community and Morgantown residents love to lament many a thing in the University City. The sooner you know the situation, the sooner you can avoid it.

Timing your Day

good: dining bad: parking ugly: Thursday and Friday nights We go for the food and the shopping and leave when the sun sets on weekends during the school year. Head south of Walnut Street for more laid-back, adult-centered nightlife without the party bus.

Football Season

Traffic is the thing we all bond over hating, but if you’re savvy, you can duck around the major congestion and get to happy hour in time to commiserate over potholes.

Before 8 a.m. or after 9:30 a.m.

Morning commute This one’s a tough call. Go too early and you’re dead on your feet at work way too soon. Go too late and you’re stuck behind school buses and that morning pile-up on Route 705. Getting from one side of town to the other should, in our opinion, never take longer than 12 minutes. If it’s costing you 20 or more, rethink your commute.

11:30 a.m.

Lunchtime Duck out for lunch early and you’re sure to get a seat for the lunchtime special at your favorite sushi place. Work until noon and you’ll wait 15 minutes or longer.

2:30 or 3 p.m.

Afternoon coffee Go too early and you’re stuck waiting for the turn signal with the late lunchers. Go too late and WVU staff is already heading home with the early shift change. One town’s single rush hour is this town’s three.

4 p.m.

Evening commute Head home early with the first shift change and you just may miss the major evening congestion.

5 p.m.

Forget it Just stay in the office. You’re not getting anywhere anytime soon, and certainly not through the grocery store for a quick shopping trip before dinner.

5:30 p.m.

Thought you’d beat traffic heading home a few minutes late? Everyone else had that idea, too. The downtown campus area is best avoided during WVU class changes—near the half hour every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and near the quarter and threequarter hour every Tuesday and Thursday.

High Street

6 p.m.

Peek out the window at the parking lot or nearest major roadway. If you’re seeing more road than red taillights, it may be time to venture outside.

good: camaraderie bad: traffic reroutes ugly: couch burning

Go for the aroma of a tailgate grill, the near-deafening cheers from Mountaineer Field, the sea of blue and gold, and the knowledge that you’re with family. Don’t try to go anywhere else for one to two hours before and after the game.


good: cheap, easy transportation bad: breakdowns ugly: track fires You’re in Evansdale for your shift at the hospital and you need to get downtown for lunch, but you grabbed a great spot in the parking lot this morning and darned if you’ll leave it. Jump on the PRT for free if you’re a faculty or staff member and for $0.50 if you’re not. Just remember to tell your boss you may not be back in time for your meeting if one of those pesky electrical fires break out.


good: varied styles, historic homes bad: prices ugly: dilapidated student housing Whether you want a grand historic home, a downtown loft, a mid-century suburban dream, or a country cottage, Morgantown has enough styles and locations to suit any need—although with housing prices above the national average, finding something is often difficult.

City and Campus Layout

good: picturesque buildings stacked atop hills bad: aforementioned hills ugly: your clothes after walking the hills in August Crest a peak nearly anywhere in town, and you’ll look out at a view of city and campus life, a mash-up of young energy, burgeoning business, and slow West Virginia charm. But those hills hide a dark side of seasonal variety. In summer they’re the reason you’re dripping with sweat. In winter they’re the reason you’re dropping cash for the car repair after sliding down an icy incline.



The Local Culture We All Enjoy These are just a few of the local spots that are here because WVU is, too.

Tucked deep in the Greenmont neighborhood, where students and families live side by side in relative harmony, Gene’s Beer Garden is the ultimate town and gown destination. Open since 1944, it has hosted generations of Mountaineers. Old photos, WVU memorabilia, and newspaper clippings line the walls. The bar is small and intimate. Al Bonner, the current owner of Gene’s, says the space was opened as a barbershop serving hotdogs and beer by Gene Perilli Sr. Though the barbershop is gone, Gene’s is still much the same. It’s a quiet place throughout the day, but after work the locals come out. Go to watch WVU games, meet neighbors, and listen to live music. Stay for the bar’s famous hotdogs and cold beer. 461 Wilson Avenue, 304.292.1147, genesbeergarden.com

Katie Griffith

Gene’s Beer Garden

Town, Gown, And a Pint Most are dark. Most are old. Some have notes and photos of old-school WVU strung throughout. It’s that sense of history and transiency keeps them both familiar and fresh every time you visit. These are Morgantown staples, the points where townie and collegiate life intermix. Most are watering holes, some are places just to pass the time, but in all you’ll find the Morgantown and WVU community young and old.

Metropolitan Billiard Parlor

Boston Beanery

3395 University Avenue 304.598.2337

321 High Street, 304.292.0165 383 Patteson Drive, 304.599.1870

Kegler’s Sports Bar and Lounge

Morgantown Brewing Company

Towne Hill Tavern

735-A Chestnut Ridge Road 304.598.9698

New South Media Staff

Crockett’s Lodge

371 High Street 304.292.9267

Suburban Lanes Bowling Center 35-A Chestnut Ridge Road 304.599.3522

1291 University Avenue 304.292.6959

Black Bear

132 Pleasant Street, 304.296.8696; 3119 University Avenue, 304.777.4867

998 Willey Street 304.284.8104

Mario’s Fishbowl

704 Richwood Avenue, 304.292.2511; 3117 University Avenue, 304.599.4309

Gibbie’s Pub and Eatery 368 High Street 304.296.4427

Buck’s Corner Pub

100 East Brockway Avenue 304.292.9172

Wings Ole

1125 University Avenue, 304.296.4486; 725 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.598.3010



With thousands of students coming from everywhere imaginable and visiting professors and faculty from just as far, not to mention the people from many and varied cultures who have made Morgantown home, one of our favorite perks of living in a college town is ethnic food. Tired of the same old burgers and fries? Spice things up with everything from udon to curry. Asian Cuisine From institutions like Ogawa Japanese Restaurant (see page 36) in Evansdale (2920 University Avenue, 304.598.8338) and Yama Japanese Restaurant downtown (387 High Street, 304.291.2456) to newer favorites like Lavender Cafe (247 Beechurst Avenue, 304.296.2266), Volcano Japanese Restaurant (372 Patteson Drive, 304.292.9000), and Chaang Thai (361 High Street, 304.241.5374), Morgantown has your sushi, udon, and pad thai fix covered. We recommend the lunch specials at any of these spots—lots of tasty, fragrant food for not a lot of dough.

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cuisine If you’re looking for falafel and hummus, Morgantown has the goods. Ali Baba Restaurant (82 Hart Field Road, 304.777.4120) has been a Morgantown favorite for nearly 40 years. Though the restaurant and owner Elias Hishmeh have changed locations several times over that period, loyal patrons always follow the scent of their bright green falafel and spicy gyro. Located downtown Jasmine Grill (330 High Street, 304.291.7878) is a relative newcomer with an equally loyal following of Middle Eastern students. We go where the natives go, and in this case we’re following the daily lunch specials, large wraps, and interesting desserts. After your meal try a Turkish coffee. Your afternoon productivity will thank you for it. 56

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

New South Media Staff

Indian Cuisine Mother India (40 South High Street, #109, 304.292.4499) located downtown is a favorite for professors, students, and townies alike. Lunch and dinner bustle as patrons flock to the buffet. After you’ve had your fill—from the buffet or items off the menu— enjoy a hot cup of masala tea as you chat with your meal partners. Near the Morgantown Municipal Airport on the Mileground, Saffron (1894 B Mileground Road, 304.291.4800) offers a large menu as well as halal meat, gluten-free food, and a great buffet.

Local Grocers

Local Music

Check out the music locals and students listen to at these tried-and-true music venues. Grab a beer, grab a snack, and settle in or get riled up for a night of sound. 123 Pleasant Street, 123 Pleasant Street, 123pleasantstreet.com Black Bear, 132 Pleasant Street, 3119 University Avenue, blackbearburritos.com Schmitt’s Saloon, 245 Cheat Road, schmittssaloon.com

When you don’t feel like going out to grab a bite, make sure you have all the ingredients from our local ethnic food stores on hand to whip up a curry of your own. With two dedicated Asian markets—Von Son Asian Market (1389 University Avenue, 304.292.9230) and Koreana Asian Market (293 Don Knotts Boulevard, 304.291.2388)— and one for Middle Eastern food Kassar’s Food and Gifts (1137 Van Voorhis Road #23, 304.599.7252), not to mention our local grocers like the new TK’s Fruit, Produce and Bubble Tea (see page 20) and the newly relocated Mountain People’s Co-op, there are plenty of options to keep your shelves stocked.

Elizabeth Roth; Carla Witt Ford

Trivia Trail

It’s a thing now, trivia. No longer are we satisfied to sit with a friend and imbibe, we must be challenged—and many places in town are doing it. Check out the websites of your favorite places to see when trivia might be on tap. Just a few spots that have a weekly thing going include Mountain State Brewing Company (54 Clay Street, 304.241.1976), Iron Horse Tavern (140 High Street, 304.296.6230), and Gibbie’s Pub and Eatery (368 High Street, 304.296.4427).



' Summer s Last

Hurrah don ’ t let another weekend go by without trying some of these

unforgettable outdoor activities just minutes from morgantown .

nikki bowman

Written by Mikenna Pierotti


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

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Cheat Lake 119






h nonga ela Ri ve Mo r





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Coopers Rock State Forest



t’s getting close—the end of summer. A few more weeks and those sultry campfire-lit nights, blue-sky days, and long weekends on the water will be behind us. Did you squeeze every last drop out of your vacation time? Are you ready to say goodbye to summer? No? We didn’t think so. Pack a bag, grab your bathing suit, and dust off the hiking gear. If you haven’t yet ventured far outside city limits, the end of summer is the time to do it. The trees are still bright green, the sun is still hot, and you don’t have to go far to feel the rush of city life fall away. From stand-up paddleboard yoga to hiking for all ages and fitness levels to snorkeling crystal clear river pools, the Morgantown area is an outdoor paradise this time of year. Although it’s easy to think of Morgantown as urban, with its proximity to larger metros like Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., our city has a prime location in lush, green North Central West Virginia, perched between two major recreation and commercial waterways—the Cheat and Monongahela rivers. Both offer great fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, outdoor events, and riverside shopping and dining. Then there’s Cheat Lake, a 13-mile sapphire blue reservoir lined with mature forest, dotted with gorgeous homes and a few shore-side restaurants, and— weather permitting—speckled with boats, jet skis, swimmers, and fishers just 18 miles from the center of town. We’ve also got the nearly 13,000-acre Coopers Rock State

Forest, one of West Virginia’s most visited state forests. Just off Interstate 68, this public forest boasts some of the area’s best photo ops of the magnificent Cheat River Gorge. Morgantown also claims a well-developed park system with destinations like Dorsey’s Knob Park, a 70-acre green space offering hiking trails, scenic overlooks, picnic areas, and room for plenty of noholds-barred disc golf. And did we mention trails? Along the Monongahela River and Deckers Creek we have 48 miles of hiking, biking, jogging, and more on non-motorized vehicle paths connecting Marion, Monongalia, and Preston counties. Morgantown and neighboring Star City also boast about 10 miles of paved trails—Caperton and Deckers Creek—ideal for a smooth ride on a rented bike or skates. The Earl L. Core Arboretum and the West Virginia Botanic Garden, located on opposite ends of town, are pieces of preserved paradise with, combined, more than 170 acres in which to explore, picnic, and relax. If none of that captures your imagination, there’s camping, rock climbing, zip lining, bird-watching, and free courses on everything from wild food foraging to insect identification—all just a stone’s throw from the lights and laughter of downtown. Whether you plan to enjoy the last rays of summer sun from the safety of your camp chair toasting marshmallows for s’mores or from the drenched interior of a raft shooting down the Cheat River Canyon, we’ve got a few suggestions on things to see and do during summer’s last hurrah. morgantownmag.Com


Hike and Bike Looking for a leisurely bike ride along lush forested paths? Or would you rather sweat your way to the summit of a craggy mountain for a pit stop with a panoramic view? The Morgantown area has hiking and biking trails for all types. Try a few of these local favorites.


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Length: 1 mile From Shelter Three this hike takes you through some dramatic rock formations—a playground for children and adults alike—and connects to the moderate-level Ridge Trail, with jawdropping views of the Cheat River Canyon. ►Bike this ►Family friendly ►Picnic pit stop ►Red blaze

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e as y

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Length: 2.6 miles Begin at the Henry Clay Iron Furnace and follow this challenging trail to Cheat Lake near the old Mont Chateau Lodge. ►Yellow blaze f i cul




Mont Chateau Trail if

Cheat Lake

Cheat Lake Trail


Length: 1.5 miles This walking path/access road starts at the gate approximately 0.7 miles past the McCollum Camping Area entrance. The trail leads to Ravens Rock with its own amazing view of the canyon. There are no railings to keep children or pets from falling into the gorge, so proceed with caution. ►Red blaze o


Rock City Trail

Ravens Rock Trail

Find more hikes at coopersrockstateforest.com/trails.html.

Length: 4.5 miles Thanks to a donation of land from Allegheny Energy (now FirstEnergy Corporation), this handicapped accessible lakeside trail off I-68 is now open to the public. Tackle the full trail, fish from one of the designated platforms, take the kids to the playground, or sunbathe on the beach. ►Bike this ►Family friendly ►Picnic pit stop ►Follow signage o

d e r at

Find this trail via the Cheat Lake exit on I-68. Follow signs to Route 857 and enter by turning left. Turn left again onto Morgans Run Road, which ends at the trail’s main parking area. The road is narrow, so use caution.

Katie Griffith

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Length: 0.3 miles This trail starts to the right of the forest gift shop and takes you to one of the forest’s historic picnic shelters as well as the trailhead for another laid-back hike—Rock City Trail. ►Family friendly ►Picnic pit stop ►White blaze

Legend says Coopers Rock State Forest was named for a fugitive. A cooper, or barrel-maker by trade, the man hid from authorities in a cave near what is now the park’s most famous overlook.

Length: 1.8 miles Start this trail at the road across from the McCollum Camping Area. A dappled forest path leads you to the 30foot historic Henry Clay Iron Furnace, built between 1834 and 1836, which produced pig iron for a young Morgantown. ►Bike this ►Blue blaze o


Eagle Trail

Clay Run Trail m

Coopers Rock State Forest Most Coopers Rock trails—more than 20 in all—are great for both foot and bike travel. In winter certain trails are also open for cross-country skiers and snowshoeing. Colorful blazes keep you on the right path.


Caperton Trail Length: 5 miles e as y Hiking, biking, shopping, and dining—you can do it all on the Caperton Trail, a paved portion of the Mon River Trail with many access points along the river. ►Bike this ►Family friendly ►Follow signage

Waterlogged Summer’s heat hasn’t yet waned and neither has our taste for local water recreation.

Mon River Trail d e r at






Length: 30 miles Hugging the Monongahela River’s right bank, this relatively flat trail starts at the Pennsylvania border and connects Monongalia and Marion counties, running through wooded river valleys, bottomland, and fields. Access it anywhere along the river or from the Caperton Trail. ►Bike this ►Family friendly ►Follow signage o

Deckers Creek Trail

d e r at Length: 20 miles One part smooth asphalt and one part crushed limestone with a 2 percent grade, this trail runs through rhododendron and hemlock groves, fields, and farmland. Start at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park and follow the trail into Preston County. ►Bike this ►Family friendly ►Follow signage

See more at mapwv.gov/trails.

Rent a Bike Nearby

Carla witt ford

Trying to hit the rail-trail and don’t have a bike? Wamsley Cycles in the Seneca Center on Beechurst Avenue has you covered. Rent a comfort bike for a halfday to a full week. Prices range from $15 to $125. Tandem bikes range from $30 to $150. The shop also rents child trailers, trailer cycles for older kids, and travel cases. 709 Beechurst Ave #3, 304.296.2447 wamsleycycles.com

If there’s one thing this city has in abundance—other than drink specials—it’s water access. Sandwiched between the Monongahela and Cheat rivers, with Cheat Lake curving down from the Pennsylvania border to the edge of Coopers Rock State Forest, Morgantown is a water lover’s paradise, where swimming, snorkeling, skiing, rafting, tubing, boating, floating, fishing, and everything in between is a way of life.

Always wear appropriate safety gear, check water levels, and be sure of currents before undertaking any water based activities.

Monongahela River Drive: 10 minutes More commonly known as “the Mon,” this 130-mile waterway is mostly navigable and slowmoving along its entire length—from Fairmont to Pittsburgh. Highlight: Grab your kayak or canoe and put in at the public boat ramp at Edith Barill Riverfront Park in Star City. The 65-mile Upper Mon Water Trail is the first designated water trail for recreational boaters in West Virginia and offers a family friendly way to experience the river. Also Try… fishing for walleye from the shore at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. Take a picnic and make a day of it or stay for an evening with a live concert or free outdoor movie. ►Family friendly



Cheat Lake Drive: 15 minutes Thirteen miles or 1,730 acres of swimmable, floatable, boatable water are the perfect antidote to late-summer doldrums. Highlight: Boats of all kinds—but especially the fun, fast ones—are the best way to experience Cheat Lake at the end of summer. Edgewater Marina, Cheat Lake Marina, and Sunset Beach Marina offer docking, ramps, boat and equipment rentals, fuel, repairs, and supplies. Also Try… dinner on the lake at The Whippoorwill Bar and Grill, Coach’s Crab Shack at Cheat Lake Marina, or Lakehouse on the Cheat. ►Family friendly

Over time the Cheat River has carved a deep trench in the hard sandstone landscape, which breaks into what are called talus fields. Those chunks of rock gradually slide down to the river bottom and help form the Class IV and V rapids.

Messinger Lake ►Drive: 21 minutes In the heart of Coopers Rock State Forest, this six-acre pond offers a peaceful getaway for the whole family. ►Highlight: Take a pole and your fishing license and claim a spot around Messinger Lake, a place locals call “The Trout Pond” for good reason. The lake is regularly stocked and you can keep up to three fish per day. ►Also Try… hiking down to the pond from Glade Run Trail, one and a half miles of moderate to steep grade starting on the left of Sand Springs Road and ending at the water. Bring a light picnic lunch and make a day of it. ►Family friendly

Big Sandy Creek ►Drive: 30 minutes This 30-mile tributary of the Cheat River has a few perfect spots for a relaxing dip with friends. ►Highlight: Paddling the headwaters of the Big Sandy is a fun way to dip your toes into human-powered water recreation without the adrenaline rush of the rapids farther downstream. Rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard from PADLZ on Mill Street in Bruceton Mills and enjoy the calm, flat waters above the dam. ►Also Try… fishing from the Bruceton Mills Public Fishing Area, which is stocked with hundreds of baitfish every year and includes a pavilion with public restrooms.

Carla witt ford (2); Nikki bowman; Elizabeth Roth

Cheat River ►Drive: 45 minutes One of two tributaries to the Monongahela River, the Cheat offers some of the best whitewater experiences in the country with everything from calm pools to Class V rapids. ►Highlight: Although spring is whitewater season on the Cheat, summer is a great time for a laid-back rafting trip. Unless you’re an experienced white water pro, we suggest visiting one of the Morgantown-area outfitters to sign up for a guided trip (see page 66 for a partial list). ►Also Try… snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear pools of the Cheat Narrows in late summer. Take Route 7 through Masontown, Reedsville, and Kingwood to Route 72. Park along the road* at a turnout anywhere on the five miles from the Pringle Run bridge to Rowlesburg and look for a spot to jump in. *Never block road access.

The Cheat River Festival is a big deal come May, but the festival grounds—15 acres at the mouth of Muddy Creek and the Cheat River—are always open to anyone who wants to explore the area, look for eagle nests, wade into the water, or take a picnic lunch. Follow I-68 east toward Cumberland. Take Exit 23 at Bruceton Mills and turn right onto Route 26 south to drive about 10 miles. The festival site will be on your right, just south of Teter’s Campground entrance. If you reach the Kwik Stop you have gone too far.

The 391-acre Tygart Lake State Park is also just 45 minutes from Morgantown. Bass fishing, swimming, and beach-lounging are local favorities.

Blue Hole ►Drive: 55 minutes If you have a four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle, you may want to brave a trip down to one of West Virginia’s most beloved and infamous swimming holes. Known as Blue Hole, this deep, clear pool lies beneath Jenkinsburg Bridge along the Cheat River, upstream of Big Sandy Creek and 15 miles southeast of Morgantown. Take Route 7 southeast for 13 miles to Masontown. Then take County Road 23 east for one mile and turn north on County Road 21 toward Bull Run. You’ll know you’ve found it when you cross a single-lane bridge. Parking is uphill from there. Follow the trail to the swimming hole. It’s not for the faint of heart. ►Highlight: Swimming, floating, and general lazing around are perfect activities for this fun spot. Just pick a flat rock at the water’s edge. Take a picnic but be prepared for the hike down and back. ►Don’t Try… jumping from the bridge. Submerged rocks have claimed more than one life.



Aerial Adventure Morgantown has a few adrenaline-inducing activities for those of us who fear no heights.

Tour the treetops of the University Research Forest, where 7,600 acres of pristine wilderness sit just 10 miles northeast of Morgantown. Run by WVU’s Adventure WV program, this activity includes four zip lines, an aerial bridge, a tandem rappel station, and an interpretive nature trail. Each leg of the course ranges from 201 to 830 feet long. It’s great for novice zip-liners and those desiring a bird’s-eye view of a West Virginia ecosystem. Trained canopy tour guides provide instructions and information about the forest, how it’s used, how it’s managed, and the plants and animals you might see along your tour. adventurechallenge.wvu.edu/canopy-tour

Climb at Coopers Rock Coopers Rock isn’t just for nature hikes and picnics. Experienced climbers flock to Sunset Wall, Roadside Rocks, Upper Rock City, and Tilted Tree, among other spots in the state forest. For a guided climbing experience, a beginner’s climbing course, or kid-friendly climbing adventure, try Coopers Rock Climbing Guides and Backcountry Adventures. coopersrockclimbingguides.com

Learn to Slackline What is slacklining, you say? Let’s call it a cross between walking a tightrope and pretending you’re Spiderman. Slackliners walk and perform tricks on a narrow strip of webbing tensioned between two anchor points—trees, poles, or whatever is firmly secured—fairly high off the ground. The line is tensioned to the user’s comfort level but remains both stretchy and bouncy. The great thing? It can be done in many environments, even over water. If this piques your interest, consider contacting the WV Slackline group and teaming up with an experienced slackliner in Morgantown to learn the ropes. facebook.com/WVSlackline 64

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

North of I-68 is the WVU Research Forest, 7,600 acres managed by the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources under a 100-year lease from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The WVU Research Forest canopy is made up of mostly 60- to 80-yearold oak and other hardwoods. The forest is used for classes and research and is home to a zip line canopy tour.

Elizabeth Roth

Zip line at the WVU Research Forest

S’mores and Sites

What’s Your Camping Character? Foodie, tree-hugger, or wild child—we’ll match you with your perfect campfire dessert and camping experience. 1. You’re planning a weekend camping trip. When do you start packing? a. A week before or as soon as I make a trip to Pathfinder for the latest gear b. The night before. I don’t need a lot. Materialism isn’t my style. c. Packing? I probably have everything I need in the backseat of my car. d. Two to three weeks before, depending on my travel itinerary and the local weather forecast

2. What beverage did you bring for sipping around the fire? a. French-pressed coffee b. Craft beer or sun tea c. Blackberry moonshine—if I made it myself, I’m not telling. d. I have juice, water, milk, soda, coffee, tea, and a drink recipe I found on Pinterest—did I forget something?

Mostly As: Bacon, Marshmallow, and Dark Chocolate Ganache on Pretzels S’more: You like the finer things in life. Some might call you a foodie; the haters call you a food snob. But you’re too busy packing a cooler with your latest find from Wine Spectator and that ceviche you learned to make at your monthly cooking class to care about those peons. Camping: Mountain Creek Cabins near Coopers Rock State Forest. Cabins have hot tubs, air conditioning, electric or gas fireplaces, flat screens—the works. mountaincreekcabins.com

Mostly Cs: Marshmallow and Nutella on Oreo Cookies S’more: You’re a wild child. You’re the one your friends invite on long road trips to keep everyone entertained with stories—also because you remember to bring cornhole, know all the best drinking games, and have experience with actual whitewater rafting. You’ve probably tried slacklining and weren’t terrible at it. Camping: Cheat Canyon Campground is laid-back, fun, and affordable at $5 per person per night. cheatcanyoncampground.com

Mostly Bs: Roasted Berry, Free Trade Chocolate, a. Someone who can debate the finer points of and Local Honey on Whole Wheat charcuterie with me Graham Crackers S’more: You took a course on wild edibles at the West b. An expert bird-watcher—I’ve always wanted Virginia Botanic Garden just so you could to learn c. Everyone I know and a few I just met on the road pick berries trailside and roast them on the campfire for this sort-of-healthy on my way to camp s’more. You carry at least one guidebook d. My close circle of clean, well-mannered friends on bird, mushroom, insect, or tree identification at all times. You’ve hugged 5. What furry companion is by your side? a tree on more than one occasion. a. None—my pampered pets prefer the indoors. Camping: McCollum Camping Area b. My loyal rescue from the local SPCA at Coopers Rock State Forest. Bring c. My kayaking, surfing, skateboarding pooch your dog and all your bearded, sandald. Sadly, I don’t have a pet. I have a long list of wearing friends and claim a tent requirements and no single animal has met site. coopersrockstateforest.com/ them yet. Or I just hate animals. camping.html

Mostly Ds: Classic S’more: You’re a little Type A, though you prefer “efficient,” when it comes to trips. You probably make lists and/or spreadsheets for potential vacation scenarios even before the first day of summer. Planning the vacation is almost as much fun for you as actually vacationing. You’re making a list right now, aren’t you? Camping: At Big Bear Lake Camplands you’ll have lots to fill that itinerary with cabins, tent sites with electric hookups, showers, miniature golf, lakes, hiking and biking trails, a water park, and a country store. bigbearwv.com

3. What will get your adrenaline pumping? a. Cooking my cedar plank salmon to perfection on the grill b. Mushroom hunting in deep woods c. Whitewater rafting—nothing less than Class IV d. The fear that I may have forgotten to pack something

carla witt ford

4. Who did you bring with you?



Get The Gear

Learn Something Forget the desks, whiteboards, ancient projectors, and boring assignments—the great outdoors is the best classroom.

These local outdoor recreation outfitters will get you suited up and ready to go on your next big adventure.


Wamsley Cycles If you live and breathe two-wheel recreation, you’ve found your mecca. Rent a bike, buy a bike, get a bike fixed, or buy the gear you need for your next ride all right here. The shop’s website also includes informational articles, advice, and tips and an interactive map of favorite trails for mountain bikers or city riders. 709 Beechurst Avenue, 304.296.2447, wamsleycycles.com

WVU Outdoor Rec Center If you’re a WVU student, faculty or staff member, affiliated employee, or the family member of any of the aforementioned, you can rent just about any gear you need for camping, biking, hiking, climbing, water sports, and winter recreation. If you’re lucky enough to have a connection at the university, you can ask them to rent gear for you—but should an accident occur that individual would be held liable for anything lost or damaged. 304.293.2203, adventurerecreation. wvu.edu/gear-rentals 66

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

West Virginia Botanic Garden The 82-acre West Virginia Botanic Garden, formerly known as Tibbs Run Reservoir off Tyrone Road, is now free and open to exploration for nature lovers, hikers, and anyone wanting a peaceful retreat from dawn to dusk. But the best part of the botanic garden has to be the free educational walks and workshops. 1061 Tyrone Road

Insect Walk August 8, 10:30 a.m. While in search of butterflies and other winged beauties, learn to identify species and generally nerd-out a bit on bugs—you know you want to.

Wildflower Walk August 22, 10 a.m. The reservoir basin is a great place to see Mother Nature in full bloom. Bring a flower identification book if you have one.

Tree ID Walk September 6, 2 p.m. Learn to identify trees in the botanic garden, some of which might be growing in your own backyard. Bring a tree identification book if you have one.

Bird Day Event September 19, 8 a.m.–noon This half-day event includes a fall bird walk, ideas for winter birding, live bird

presentations by the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, and a few more birdcentric activities.

Fall Mushroom Walk September 20, 2 p.m. Follow Dan Panaccione, WVU professor of mycology, as he leads you into the garden’s wild world of fungi.

Moss, Lichen, and Fern Walk September 27, 2 p.m. Bring a magnifying glass and join Susan Studlar, WVU visiting associate professor of biology, for a dip into the strange and beautiful land of lichen, mosses, and ferns.

WVU Earl L. Core Arboretum If you want an up-close experience of oldgrowth forest as well as wild flowers, fields, and birds from the convenience of groomed trails right in town, look no further than the 91-acre Earl L. Core Arboretum. Park in the designated lot on Monongahela Boulevard or jump on the paved Caperton Trail at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park and walk less than two miles north to the arboretum. From there you can explore three and a half miles of trails or take a break and relax on a bench while surrounded by nature. Monongahela Boulevard ►Take a Picnic ►Dog friendly

Fred Jordan

Climbing, camping, hiking, cycling, boating, skiing, skating—they’ve got it all. Need to get your gear fixed? This local outdoor outfitter has a full-service bike shop as well as a ski and snowboard shop and does custom car-rack mounting, bike fitting, and ski and hiking boot fitting. Pathfinder also carries outdoor apparel for the whole family. 235 High Street, 304.296.0076, pathfinderwv.com

Started From the Bottom, Now She’s Here WVU Women’s Soccer Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown is entering her 20th season with the Mountaineers, having built an elite team from the ground up.

WVU Athletic communications

Written by Katie Griffith


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

I want to impact them beyond just here. I’ll send them a motivational quote, but I’ll also send them a list of the top 10 most successful women in the country. What motivates me is seeing an athlete after her four years, knowing that I maximized her potential.”

Katie Griffith


ust off Monongahela Boulevard, in the shadow of the WVU Coliseum, sits the women’s soccer practice facility at Dreamswork Field. It’s a calm mid-summer workweek, and traffic is barely noticeable on the usually congested boulevard. The building doors are locked. The parking lot is empty. But the peace only serves as a backdrop to reflect on what will surely be an uproarious return to WVU Women’s Soccer come August. It’s been a whirlwind summer for WVU Women’s Soccer Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. In just a few weeks, she’s gone from fundraising for a soccer complex in Charleston to jetting across Iceland and Finland. Before that she was off to Canada where, in a momentous career highlight, she watched two of her young Mountaineers compete for the Canada’s national team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the highest level of competition in the soccer world. Both rising juniors, neither was relegated to the benches. Ashley Lawrence scored. Kadeisha Buchanan was named young player of the year. For a person as competitive and trophy-driven as Izzo-Brown, this was a moment to sit back and reflect on a career that has catapulted her from an office in a first-aid room, tucked away in the WVU Coliseum, in 1995 to sitting with champions in 2015. “There was a moment that I just caught my breath, after I heard the line-up,” she says. And then she watched, enjoying the athleticism of her players and of a world-class setting, as a soccer fan instead of a coach. “After Ashley scored, I had chills,” she says. But as Izzo-Brown strolls into the building at Dreamswork the moment is over. A flurry of energy, standing just over 5 feet tall, Izzo-Brown is back to work. The coach is hosting a potential recruit before taking the young player to Pittsburgh where she will grab a plane to the next of her courtiers. Izzo-Brown the recruiter has a warm demeanor. Her brown eyes sparkle when she laughs, which is often, and she’s quick with reassurance and a smile. Yet her voice is strong, almost husky from years of shouting at players to run faster, to kick harder. Her toned arms flex against the shimmer of a glittery shirt as she picks up a soccer ball and rests it casually against her hip. She walks across the neat landscape of a soccer field in heels with the ease of a woman who’s spent a lifetime there, battling competing teams and the expectations of a culture that wasn’t ready for women’s soccer or Nikki Izzo-Brown. If you hadn’t heard of WVU Women’s Soccer before summer 2015, you surely have by now.

WVU Athletic Communications

[ From the Beginning ]

A star soccer player in her college days, Izzo-Brown earned AllAmerican status at the University of Rochester in New York, where she helped to lead the Yellow Jackets to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances between 1989 and 1992. Her coaches remember her as indomitable on the field, doing one-arm push-ups after breaking the other arm and greeting opposing teams with an intimidating defense and a competitive hustle. Her drive, she says, has always been competition— something innate that cried out to be the best. Despite her successes as a collegiate player, Izzo-Brown says she never imagined herself as a coach, or that one day she’d build and lead an elite team at a Division I university. She’s realistic about the reasons she’s here and the reasons WVU has a women’s soccer team to begin with: Title IX, the 1972 federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in any federally funded education program or activity. Title IX doesn’t require identical men’s and women’s athletic teams, just equal opportunities—as many offerings for women as there are for men based on student needs. Before 1972, collegiate women’s soccer was a rarity. By Izzo-Brown’s estimates there were maybe 75 programs countrywide. “When Title IX happened there were all these programs just popping up—probably 500 to 1,000,” Izzo-Brown says. “And what do they want? Females who have competed. Females who can represent.”

When, back in the 1990s, WVU got around to developing women’s soccer into an official team, Athletic Director Ed Pastilong didn’t have to look far to find one—Izzo-Brown was just down the road at West Virginia Wesleyan. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree from Rochester in 1993, Izzo-Brown used her soccer career to launch her graduate education, serving first as an assistant head coach at Wesleyan while earning an MBA before going on to become Wesleyan’s head coach in 1994. Still in her early twenties, she had to teach herself what it meant to be a coach. “I never had the training. I wasn’t a physical education major,” she says. “I was a young coach. I didn’t know a whole lot about the coaching styles, and that’s what I had to seek.” Her own style is tough, but fair. She describes herself as a players’ coach. Her goal is to motivate her players, understand them, and bring out the best in them. “I want to be a life coach, too. I want to impact them beyond just here. I’ll send them a motivational quote, but I’ll also send them a list of the top 10 most successful women in the country,” she says. “What motivates me is seeing an athlete after her four years, knowing that I maximized her potential.” In her past 19 seasons, Izzo-Brown has coached 15 players who went on to professional careers, 18 All-Americans, 16 Academic AllAmericans, 11 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidates, 16 conference players of the year, and two FIFA Women’s World Cup players. To say that she’s maximized players’ potential, though, is an understatement. She’s built a powerhouse out of nothing. morgantownmag.Com


[ Long Nights ]


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Kadeisha Buchanan was named a top young player at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

[ The Secret Is Out ]

In 1995, soccer was virtually unheard of in West Virginia. Mountains don’t typically make good soccer fields. In places like New York the sport flourished at the high school level. Not here. “Girls were playing with high school boys. They didn’t even have high school soccer. That was really overwhelming for me, especially coming from upstate New York where, for years, we were playing and we had these opportunities,” she says. “Not only did I have to come in and develop this women’s soccer team, I also had to understand that I couldn’t recruit in this state.” In part it’s the success of her program that has launched an interest in women’s soccer in West Virginia. High schools now have dedicated women’s teams. Families spend hundreds on

WVU Athletic Communications; Canada Soccer

“I remember reporting to West Virginia University and I went to Ed Pastilong’s office and I was like, ‘OK. Where’s my office?’” The year was 1995. Izzo-Brown was 24 years old, and after her question was met with a sort of dumbfounded silence, she realized WVU hadn’t prepared an office for her, or much of anything else. “They knew they needed to start a program because of Title IX, but I don’t think they’d really looked into it,” she says. WVU sports at the time was a boys’ club. She spent her first months in a repurposed first-aid office in the coliseum with Ed Dixon, WVU’s tennis coach at the time. Her players shared Mountaineer Field with the football team under Don Nehlen, who infamously once told her that her women’s soccer team was a distraction for his football players. But it didn’t faze her. The responses to her presence and her fledgling program that some might call ignorant, she shrugs off as cute. “It was innocent. They just didn’t understand,” she says. Instead of worrying about it, she spent nights at the office, making recruiting calls and going over schedules. Old assistant coaches and even her former players describe her as “intense,” a taskmaster who could outwork anyone. “I’ve wanted everyone to understand that just because you’re female, or male, doesn’t mean you work less,” she says. “And sometimes you actually have to work harder to gain respect—especially 20 years ago.” She tells the story of speaking in a physical education class where a football player raised his hand and said, “Coach, what do you do at the end of the games when the girls are crying and you have to hug them?’” “‘They’re going to spit nails out at you,’” she remembers replying. “‘Some of them don’t want a hug. They want to wreck lockers, too.’” Her goal since has been to make everyone, from the football team to the university to Morgantown to the state, see just how hard she and her girls work. “If I laid that foundation—that everyone knew the women’s soccer program here is going to outwork everyone else because that’s our mentality—we’re going to gain respect.” It was a long and tough road ahead. Barely older than the players she coached, Izzo-Brown had to plow a rocky, untilled field. Opposing teams’ coaches thought the WVU program was a joke. They complained about playing on the artificial turf at Mountaineer Field. Her players, at first, were all freshmen and sophomores with no seniors to look up to. Some weren’t up to the level of play. IzzoBrown was understaffed. From getting locker rooms to field space to assistant coaches, it was a fight. “I’m a little aggressive, and I’d say, ‘Well, if I win and I earn it, I deserve it,’” she says. Win she did, though there were times of brutal loss as well. Her first season in 1996 ended with 10 wins, seven losses, and two ties. “Then I was in Eddy’s office and I’d have to say, ‘Eddy—picture American football. I need a quarterback,’ or ‘I need an offensive coordinator,’ or ‘I need a defensive coordinator.’ And he was great about it. Did he always say yes? No. But he tried.” The caliber of the team gradually rose. In 1998 WVU Women’s Soccer made its first Big East Tournament appearance. In 2000 it headed to the NCAA Tournament. In 2007 the team earned its first Big East title. Since then WVU Women’s Soccer has boasted title after title and five tournament championships. The program was the only university sport to win multiple Big East Tournament titles and won the school’s first Big 12 championship in 2012. The Mountaineers enter the 2015 season having appeared in the past 15 NCAA Tournaments, one of the longest appearance streaks in the country. But Izzo-Brown’s work hasn’t just centered at the college level. She had another foundation to set as well.

The 1996 team poses for a photo.

Canada Soccer; WVU Athletic Communications (3)

Ashley Lawrence scored at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

travel teams alone each year. She’s worked with local clubs and was instrumental in the creation of the state’s first Olympic Development Program for girls’ youth soccer, a program that pools the country’s best young players to groom them for national teams. “Any opportunity I have to give back, I do,” she says. It’s why she was in Charleston fundraising after heading to the World Cup. “Soccer’s always given me so much—both of my educations, I always steered myself to a school or an opportunity because of soccer—so giving back is critically important to me.” With football and basketball firmly entrenched in the minds of WVU fans and baseball on a steady rise, women’s soccer could be next. She jokes that the program is the best-kept secret on campus. “A lot of times I don’t toot my own horn, or the program’s, because look around,” she says, gesturing to the elegant lines of the practice

locker room, the well-maintained field, and the trophies lining the walls at Dreamswork. Building staff will have to install another display case soon. “I don’t wear my championship rings, but I don’t have enough fingers for them now.” The secret’s out. The World Cup launched the program to an entirely new level in terms of visibility, and to put things succinctly, Izzo-Brown has never had a losing season as head coach. Not one. After nineteen years of intense training, of championship after championship, title after title, that respect she’s worked so hard to earn is in her grasp. “What you’ve just seen in the World Cup is people filling stadiums. People are watching. There’s a market for women’s soccer,” she says. “We’ve earned it. If you want a national championship, if you want another conference championship, back women’s soccer.” morgantownmag.Com



Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

out & about in the mountain city

July 11 • Morgantown Public Library

Neverland Story Time


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1 Participants pose for photos with pirates, fairies, and mermaids during the event. 2 Three attendees showcase their finished ocean scenes. 3 Hard at work, a young girl creates her own ocean scene. 4 Necklace making was a hit for everyone. 5 Face painting turns a boy into a pirate. 6 Morgantown residents fill the library for Neverland Story Time. 7 A little girl and Mermaid Mara enjoy listening to the story reading. 8 Flown in from fairyland, two small pixies visit with Mermaid Mara.


Courtesy of Jay Gummer

Setting sail from Neverland and dropping anchor at the Morgantown Public Library, the Merry Mermaid crew brought a pirate, fairy, and mermaid for a magical read aloud. On July 11, beach towels were spread across the floor of the library and children came dressed as their favorite Neverland creature or character to hear stories read by both pirate and fairy. Attendees later used maps to lead them to activities like necklace making and face painting throughout the library. The many fairies, mermaids, and pirates traveling through the library created an ocean scene right in Morgantown. Free books courtesy of the Morgantown Public Library and snacks of cupcakes and drinks rounded out the day, and fun was had by all. Â

8 morgantownmag.Com


out & about in the mountain city

June 20 • University Town Centre

WVU Healthcare Community Day

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Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

1 The WVU Mountaineer hangs out with some young community members. 2 Monti Bear, the Friends of WVU Hospitals mascot, and Cooper, the West Virginia Black Bears mascot, pause for a photo with a young attendee. 3 Kids meet one of the WVU Healthcare therapy dogs. 4 WVU employees enjoyed the family-friendly event. 5 WVU men’s basketball players challenged young Community Day attendees to monster basketball games. 6 Two girls take turns at the fish pond game with assistance from event volunteers. 7 The BOPARC Art Cart gets creative during Community Day.

Courtesy of WVU healthcare

WVU Healthcare celebrated West Virginia’s 152nd birthday with Community Day at its new University Town Centre location. From noon to 3 p.m. on June 20, the event featured children’s activities, character appearances, a live radio broadcast, tours of the brand new facility, and more. Kids got a good look inside the HealthNet helicopter, the WVU Children’s Hospital ambulance, and a fire truck, while several WVU athletes, the WVU Mountaineer, therapy dogs, and the West Virginia Black Bears mascot all joined the celebration. The community met health care professionals from across WVU Healthcare’s services, and the U.S. Forest Service helped visitors learn how to keep West Virginia “wild and wonderful” by providing wildflower seeds.


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May 30 • Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park

Girls on the Run of North Central West Virginia 5K Presented by MedExpress 3




1 The Monongahela River serves as a beautiful backdrop for the photo booth before the 5K begins. 2 They’re off! 3 Friends help each other get to the finish line. 4 Big smiles appear with the finish line in sight. 5 Pacer Pal Volunteer Meghan Casto encourages a racer as they approach the finish line. 6 Volunteer Pacer Pals wearing pink capes and T-shirts are there with the girls as they complete the 5K. 7 Caitlin Barber lends a helping hand. 8 The Deckers Creek bridge is decorated with big, bright flowers to celebrate the day. 9 Friends race to the finish together.


Rich Lewis COuntry Lane Photography


The fifth annual Girls on the Run 5K served as the culminating event for the 12-week after school Girls on the Run program, a youth development program for girls in third through eigth grades. This year 514 girls enrolled in the program at 21 schools in five counties: Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, and Wetzel. The girls, along with their coaches and families, gathered for the event at Morgantown’s Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park on the morning of May 30. The 5K course was a loop design that took participants south along Don Knotts Boulevard to the Morgantown Utility Board facility and then onto the Caperton Trail back to the riverfront park. 

9 morgantownmag.Com


Your local guide to life, art, culture, & more Aug/Sept 2015

August August 6

Bluegrass and Barbeque Saint John University Parish Hall 1481 University Avenue, Thurs., 6 p.m. 304.599.1087, casadirector@hotmail.com CASA For Kids presents its annual fundraiser Bluegrass and Barbeque with live music, a barbeque dinner, and a silent auction. CASA For Kids is a United Way agency that advocates for abused and neglected children navigating the child welfare system. $50 August 7 BOPARC Summer Fun Series Woodburn Park, Fri., 7 p.m., boparc.org The Family Fun Festival features the WVU Healthcare Bounce House and BOPARC Art Cart. A screening of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows at 9 p.m. Free NEARBY Movies on the Lawn Preston County Inn, 112 West Main Street Kingwood, Fri., 9 p.m., 304.329.2220 Every Friday after dusk, the Preston County Inn offers family-friendly movies with concessions available. Free

August 8 NEARBY Kingwood Farmers’ Market McGrew House, 111 East Main Street Kingwood, Sat., 8–11 a.m., mcgrewhouse.org Vendors gather along the circular driveway entrance to the McGrew House and set up under a canopy of trees. This event occurs every Saturday through August 29.

10k for 10K Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater, Sat. 7:30 a.m.–noon, 304.657.7997 10kfor10k.eventbrite.com The second annual 10k For 10K benefits Christian Help’s Career Closets. The 10-kilometer race will 76

Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

courtesy of Slide the city

Best Chef Contest 2015 Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa, 1 Lakeview Drive Thurs., 6–10 p.m., 304.594.1111 info@lakeviewresort.com The smell of delicious delicacies will fill the air as Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa hosts the third annual Best Chef Contest. Chefs from Morgantown and surrounding areas compete by showcasing some of their signature dishes. Ticket holders are invited to taste dishes and vote for their favorites at the end of the evening. Proceeds benefit Morgantown History Museum and will go to the flatboat project. $25

August 29 Embrace your inner child and get ready for the slide of your life! Slide the City is bringing the biggest water party of the summer to Morgantown. Grab your swimsuit and speed down this one of a kind 1,000-foot slip and slide. After your slide, enjoy music, dancing, and food. All sliders must have inflatable tubes to ride. Registration required. $30 and up Mylan Park, 500 Mylan Park Lane, Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m., slidethecity.com/events/morgantown

be timed and the course will follow the Caperton Trail from the Hazel Ruby McQuain amphitheater. This year’s event includes a fun run and walk that will not be timed. The race entry fee will be used directly for the Career Closets at Christian Help. Tickets to participate in the 10k are $38. Tickets to participate in the 5k are $15. Children five and under are free. All-American Family Festival Edith Barill Riverfront Park, Star City, Sat., 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., allamericanfamilyfestival.com The annual All-American Family Festival offers free fun for the whole family. Kick off the day with a 5K run and end it with the always popular Duck Race, where you can win up to $1,500. This event also features bounce houses, water fun, a beach area, games, pony rides, and more.

August 11 Open Life Drawing Monongalia Arts Center, 107 High Street, Tues. 7–9 p.m., 304.292.3325, monartscenter.com Attend an uninstructed life drawing session with a live model. Participants must be 18 or older. Easels are provided, and walk-ins are welcome. $10 August 13 Opening and Reception of The Art of George B. Evans Exhibit Morgantown History Museum, 175 Kirk Street, Thurs., 7 p.m., 304.319.1800 morgantownhistorymuseum.org Morgantown History Museum’s new temporary exhibit showcases the art of George Bird

Evans, a noted artist, author, outdoorsman, and founder of the Old Hemlock line of English Setters. The opening reception of the exhibit will include food and drinks and is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs throug November 14. August 13–15 The Great Wesley Flea Market Wesley United Methodist Church, 503 North High Street, Thurs.–Sat., 304.594.2290 vincecollins1@gmail.com The Great Wesley Flea Market returns. Items can be dropped off at the church the week before the event between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Household items, books, jewelry, and toys are among needed items. Clothes and TVs will not be accepted. Proceeds support the United Methodist Women. Contact Vince Collins to volunteer. August 15 Scott Alexander at Table 9 Table 9, 40 Donley Street, Sat., 7–10 p.m. 304.554.2050, dinetable9.com Head to Table 9 for a night of live music. Scott Alexander performs a variety of cover tunes from the 1950s up to contemporary hits.

Picnic Power Morgantown Public Library, 373 Spruce Street Tues., 6:30–7:30 p.m., 304.291.7425 The Morgantown Public Library offers Tuesday evening pre-school story times full of books, games, songs, crafts, and refreshments. Children should be between the ages of two and six. Registration required. Free August 20 An Evening with an Author: Dwight Harshbarger Morgantown Public Library, 373 Spruce Street Thurs., 6:30–8 p.m. Dwight Harshbarger joins the Morgantown Public Library to promote his latest novel, Valley at Risk: Shelter in Place. The author will read from his novel, which tells the story of the fatal 2008 explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, WV. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology and serves as an adjunct professor of community medicine at WVU. Paperback copies of his book will be available for purchase. Free Morgantown Poets Monongalia Arts Center, 107 High Street, Thurs. 7–9 p.m., 304.292.3325, monartscenter.com Morgantown Poets is an informal, not-for-profit, all-volunteer community group that meets on the third Thursday of each month at the MAC, providing literary enthusiasts in North Central West Virginia the opportunity to share work and network. New writers are welcome. Free August 22 Wildflower Walk West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road, Sat., 10 a.m., 304.216.8704, wvbg.org

West Virginia Black Bears

August 18

September 2 The West Virginia Black Bears, a class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, takes on the Williamsport Crosscutters in part one of a three-game series at Monongalia County Ballpark. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets start at $10. Monongalia County Ballpark, 2040 Gyorko Drive, Granville, Wed., 7:05 p.m., 304.293.7910

Local naturalist Ellen Hrabovsky leads visitors on a walk around the reservoir basin to explore summer wildflowers. Bring a wildflower book to help with identification. August 22–August 23 WV Pop Culture and Comic Book Convention Mylan Park Expo Center, 500 Mylan Park Lane Sat., 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. wvpop.com Don’t miss West Virginia’s only popular culture and comic book convention, spanning many of today’s most popular entertainment elements. Visit the exhibits and see the latest comics, movies, anime, games, and more. $10 for one day’s admission. $18 for two days’ admission.

August 25 WVU Art Museum Dedication and Reception Art Museum and Museum Education Center, Two Fine Arts Drive, Tues., 1 p.m. 304.293.2141, artmuseum.wvu.edu/opening Join the WVU Art Museum for its opening dedication and reception. Speakers include WVU President E. Gordon Gee, Provost Joyce McConnell, and Dean of the College of Creative Arts Paul K. Kreider. This event is open to the public. Pre-School Evening Story Time Morgantown Public Library, 373 Spruce Street, Tues., 6:30–7:30 p.m., 304.291.7425 morgantown.lib.wv.us This event is part of the Morgantown Public Library spring session story time, consisting of



books, games, songs, crafts, and refreshments. The evening’s theme is “Going to School.” The even is open to children between the ages of 2 and 6. Registration is required. Free August 29 Jazz Crossroads Festival Downtown Morgantown, Sat., 2:30 p.m. threecitieswv.com BOPARC presents the Jazz Crossroads Festival, featuring an afternoon concert by the Mon River Big Band. The evening line-up includes Vince Lewis & The Entertainers, Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet, the Jenny Wilson Band, Sean Nowell’s Kung Fu Masters, and more. Each band will appear in a different venue in downtown Morgantown. Sets begin at 2:30 p.m. and continue through the evening. Free

WVU Zip Canopy Tour Opens WVU Outdoor Education Center, 1397 Chestnut Ridge Road,Bruceton Mills, Sat.–Wed. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., 304.293.5221, Ext. 3 adventurechallenge.wvu.edu Zip through the trees on the WVU-owned and -operated zip canopy tour. Located just off the Coopers Rock exit of Interstate 68, the WVU Zip Canopy Tour is open to those who seek adventure. Tours can be reserved online. $47.70

September September 5 WVU Football: WVU vs. Georgia Southern Mountaineer Field, Sat., 7:30 p.m. wvusports.com Cheer on the WVU Mountaineers as they take on the Georgia Southern Eagles in the first game of the season. The game will air on FSN. September 8 MAC Literary Writing Workshop Monongalia Arts Center, 107 High Street Tues., 6:30–8 p.m., 304.292.3325 info@monartscenter.com The MAC Literary Writing Workshop is open to the public and all genres and approaches to creative writing. Attendees take turns reading selections of work to the group for thoughtful and critical discussion. The workshop is held on the second Tuesday of every month. September 12 WVU Football: WVU vs. Liberty University Mountaineer Field, Sat., 3 p.m., wvusports.com The WVU Mountaineers take on the Liberty Flames. The game will air on ROOT. September 15 Artist Networking Event Monongalia Arts Center, 107 High Street Tues. 5:30–7 p.m., 304.292.3325


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

WVU Athletic communications

August 30–September 2

September 6 Don your blue and gold for an afternoon of WVU Women’s Soccer. Cheer on the Mountaineers as they take on Villanova. Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, 3450 Monongahela Boulevard, Sun., 1 p.m., wvusports.com

monartscenter.com Artists of all disciplines are invited to attend a relaxed networking event held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Monongalia Arts Center. September 18–20 Morgantown Marathon Weekend Mylan Park Expo Center, 500 Mylan Park Lane Fri.–Sun., 304.826.0311 morgantownmarathon.com The inaugural Morgantown Marathon Weekend begins on Friday with the Advantage Health & Fitness Expo at Mylan Park. Saturday features the Inaugural Mile fun walk and the Mountain Mama 8K, while the half-marathon and the full-marathon will take place on Sunday. Registration required. $95 and up

10th anniversary with a diverse selection of concerts that hit all the right notes. Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov dazzles audiences with his technique and expression in a work of his own composition, and Maestro Honeck leads the orchestra in two pieces with Italian flair by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. $25 to $45 September 20 West Virginia Botanic Garden Fall Mushroom Walk West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road, Sat., 2 p.m., 304.216.8704, wvbg.org WVU Professor of mycology Dan Panaccione will lead a group in search of forest fungi. Learn to identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics. Free

September 19

September 25

Canady Symphony Series: Daniil Trifonov Lyell B. Concert Theatre, 1 Fine Arts Drive Sat., 7:30 p.m., 412.392.4900, Ext. 3 pittsburghsymphony.org The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Canady Symphony Series celebrates its

WVU Women’s Soccer: WVU vs. University of Texas Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, 3450 Monongahela Boulevard, Fri., 7 p.m., wvusports.com Support WVU Women’s Soccer as they play the University of Texas in a Big 12 conference game.

Carla Witt Ford

September 24 –27 Find arts and crafts, a carnival, food, livestock, pageants, parades, music, and more at the 74th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival.

Kingwood, Thurs.–Sun., all day, buckwheatfestival.com

Upcoming October 2 Art is Food Morgantown Marketplace, Spruce Street, Fri., 5–7 p.m. 304.292.0168, downtownmorgantown.com In its third year as part of Arts Walk, Art is Food presents samplings of food from downtown and riverfront restaurants. $15 Arts Walk Downtown Morgantown, Fri., 6–9 p.m., 304.292.0168 downtownmorgantown.com Stroll through more than forty downtown businesses to view artwork from local artists and collect four bookmarks featuring Morgantownarea artists. Enjoy music at numerous locations. Free October 3 Fall Children’s Festival West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road, Sat., Noon–3 p.m., 304.216.8704, wvbg.org This wildly popular event returns for its seventh year. Take the family and enjoy fairy house building, pumpkin painting, a variety of crafts, special guests, and seasonal refreshments.

Got a hot date? Send your events for consideration in our calendar to: morgantown@newsouthmediainc.com with the subject line “Calendar.” morgantownmag.Com


Then & Now

Grumbein’s Island in the 1960s

Grumbein’s Island today

For more photos

of Morgantown’s past, check out wvhistoryonview.org

Grumbein’s Island Some call Grumbein’s Island, the pedestrian island on University Avenue between WVU’s Mountainlair and Martin Hall, a refuge for walkers. Most would disagree. Nearly 700 people cross this tiny section of University Avenue in the minutes between 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. alone, according to a 2011 feasibility study considering changes to Grumbein’s Island. Most are pedestrians heading to the PRT, the Mountainlair, or class—and many walk with heads down, looking at cell phones and darting precariously between cars. Traffic, meanwhile, is backed up, inching slowly forward through the crush of human bodies. Though these photos were taken decades later, Grumbein’s Island took shape in 1934 when John B. Grumbein, department

head of Experimental Engineering, proposed the island concept. A sea of students continues to overwhelm the island during the academic year, though there have been periodic whispers of discussion about ameliorating the congestion—like the 2011 feasibility study suggestions that, ultimately, were dropped for cost and impact concerns. If you are one of those pedestrians checking Twitter while crossing the road, it’s time to check the facts: WVU will not pay for your tuition if you’re hit as a pedestrian, so put the age-old myth surrounding Grumbein’s Island to rest. Then & Now is published in partnership with WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center. wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu

written by jordan carter photographed by carla witt ford


Morgantown • Aug/Sept 2015

Profile for Morgantown Magazine

Morgantown Magazine - August/September 2015  

In this issue we explore the many perks to living in a college town.

Morgantown Magazine - August/September 2015  

In this issue we explore the many perks to living in a college town.