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The Montgomery Herald SERVING THE UPPER KANAWHA VALLEY Montgomery, West Virginia

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

50 cents

Venturers help preserve local history CHERYL KEENAN/THE MONTGOMERY HERALD (2)

Above, Joe Nowack, from combined Venturing Crew F406, examines a photographic negative Monday at the Upper Kanawha Valley Technology Community Building.

Boz Howard, 14, second from left, of Troop A401 of Dayton, Ohio, takes a bucket of limestone from C.J. Destefani, 14. Howard passed the bucket on to Logan Copsey, left, 13, to dump into the hydro generator. The limestone starts the process of leaching the metals (iron and aluminum in this instance) from the water of Morris Creek in a series of five polishing ponds created by the Morris Creek Watershed Association. Pictured to Destefani’s left is Erick Detweiler, 15.

At right, Les Thomas discusses the best way to view and handle the negatives the Venturers were working with Monday.

Scouts help return life to Morris Creek


MONTGOMERY — The three groups that comprised Illinois-based Venturing Crew F406 found themselves up close and personal with some Upper Kanawha Valley history Monday. Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 14 years of age (or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade) and under 21 years of age. According to, Venturing’s purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Venturing crews were involved in the National Scout Jamboree for the first time in 2013. Prior to commencing their hands-on work on Monday as part of the community service initiative undertaken by the Citizens Conservation Corps

Jason Piske, left, Kevin Harrington and Thomas Coates use a light table to look more closely at an image.



Chris Heimrich, left, shows a negative to Mylan Cook. of West Virginia and the Boy Scouts of America, the Venturers took in a slide show from Les Thomas, president of the Montgomery Historical Committee. In the presentation, Thomas displayed a variety of photographs and discussed life in Fayette and surrounding counties in years past. After the presentation, the Venturers and their leaders adjourned upstairs in the Upper Kanawha Valley Technology Community Building to undertake a project in which they helped catalogue photographic negatives of the late H.W. “Sonny” Glenn, Jr. Glenn, who died in 2004, owned Glenn Studio and, as an active professional photographer for more than 50 years, helped document life in the Valley. Using funds available from a grant from the Fayette County Commission, the Montgomery Historical Committee purchased the negatives and is in the process of organizing them and eventually making them available to the public, Thomas said. It will allow the committee to show “things of historical signifi-

cance to our community,” he said. “The Boy Scouts have helped us tremendously.” “This project is very important,” said Venturer Becky Green, a member of Crew 343 from Mt. Zion, Ill. “My family is actually big into genealogy. “This seems very valuable to me. It gives a little window into people’s lives.” About the Jamboree itself, Green said, “It’s been a lot of walking. It’s been a great experience. Everyone seems excited to have girls there.” The aspect she’s most taken from the Jamboree was the “teamwork” Scouts and Venturers have learned. “We were kind of all thrown together at the campsite” and had to figure out the best way to proceed with the tasks facing them. For more information on the MHC project, e-mail Thomas at or leave a message for him at 304-442-5181 (city hall). For more on the historical committee’s work, see a future issue of the Herald. — E-mail: skeenan

MONTGOMERY — Scouts from Troop A401 of the Miami Valley Council in the Dayton, Ohio, area got more than they bargained for when they joined volunteers from the Morris Creek Watershed Association on Monday. “This is much more than spending all day on the end of a shovel,” said Scoutmaster Jody Malone. “They’re getting an education. We’re seeing some of the effects of mining. It’s more than just the work.” Since 2002, the Morris Creek Watershed Association has been working, as a group of volunteers and with other conservation groups and state agencies, to clean up the ef-

fects of mining on the water of Morris Creek, a tributary of the upper Kanawha River. “This creek was dead,” said Mike King of the MCWA. “There was no life in it.” Today, the creek boasts brown trout throughout its length, and brook trout in one portion. Monday the Scouts of Troop A401 were aiding in the effort to bring the creek back to its former vibrant state. Scouts worked first on maintenance of native trees like American chestnut planted along Morris Creek, then moved on to watershed restoration projects including placing limestone fines into an acid mine drainage site, See CREEK on 2

Logan Copsey, 13, of Troop A401 of Dayton, Ohio, dumps a bucket of limestone into the water at the hydro generator.

Jamming at the Jambo


The National Boy Scouts Jamboree wraps up today and over 40,000 Scouts and Venturers will heading away from Fayette County’s Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve and back to their homes around the country and around the world. Earlier this week, more of them took the opportunity to fly across the sky on one of the Summit’s ziplines, and to row along Goodrich Lake.

Index Calendar Classified

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9 2-3, 6-7





2 ■ Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Montgomery Herald

CREEK ▼ CONTINUED FROM 1 placing rocks along the creek, and repairing Kdams with new support logs. The work at the series of five MCWA settlement ponds seemed more like fun to some of the Scouts. “Is this really helping?” asked 14-year-old Jimmy Basner as he and his fellow Scouts tossed limestone into the creek. When told the limestone helped leach the metals, mainly iron and aluminum in this section, from the water, he and his mates redoubled their efforts. The Scouts earlier had inspected a hydro generator and set up a bucket brigade to dump in the limestone. One thousand pounds of limestone is loaded into the generator, powered by the outflow of old mines, every two weeks. Once in the water, the limestone does its work, causing the metals to drop out into a series of five polishing ponds. “It’s just a chance for the metals to fall out before we put (the water) back in the creek,” said Rob Jackson, MCWA VISTA worker. Upstream of the polishing ponds, the water bears a distinct orange


The hydro generator, using water from abandoned mines in the area, powers a mobile command unit for the Morris Creek Watershed Association. hue, a testament to the large amount of iron remaining from the abandoned mines. After the limestone does its work, however, the water emerges looking clear and sparkling. The hydro generator itself, driven by the water from the abandoned mines, also completely powers a mobile command center onsite, donated to the MCWA by Homeland Security. “It powers everything in here,” King said from the center. To prove his point, he offered to charge a Scout’s cell phone. When he got the phone back, Scout Craig Ian-

nacchione, 17, was surprised. “It was at 31 percent charged and it’s up to 65 percent in 20-25 minutes! That’s crazy,” he said, and then added, “I want one (of the hydro generators)!” Iannacchione said his phone would have taken 2 to 21/2 hours to charge similarly at home. “If we were going to be here for another half hour, my phone would be fully charged,” he said, as he walked away to tell other Scouts about the strength of the waterpowered generator. Jackson told the S c o u t s s i m i l a r a b a ndoned mines exist all over southern West

The orange color created by the iron is readily visible in this polishing pond.

Virginia. “This is an untapped resource right here,” he said. “They could be putting power back into the grid all over southern West Virginia.” The hydro generator is a joint project of MCWA with Marshall University, WVU Tech and the Department of Energy. Boz Howard, 14, was among the Scouts who enjoyed the educational aspect of his service project. “It’s very interesting,” he said. “I really expected just to be working, but it’s very educational as well.”

Rob Jackson, VISTA worker for MCWA, is pictured with Scoutmaster Jody Malone with Troop A401 of the Miami Valley Council.

— E-mail: ckeenan

Division of Tourism launches webpage to showcase state’s wineries, distilleries and breweries SOUTH CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Division of Tourism has launched a new landing page on its website devoted to showcasing the Mountain State’s wineries, distilleries and breweries. The landing page can be accessed at pirits. The site provides a listing of spirit makers organized by geographic region, with details on the products produced and, in some cases, tour hours and tastings. “Spirits are a growi n g p a r t o f t h e a g r i-

tourism market here in West Virginia,” Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver said. “We want to encourage people who are interested in this particular subject to visit the makers of these handcrafted spirits and learn more about what they have to offer.” West Virginia is home to a collection of wineries, each with its own distinctive blend of wines and styles — from traditional red and white varieties, to dessert wines and specialty wines. Many offer tours of their vineyards as well. “We appreciate the

commitment and hard work involved in the development, nurturing and creation of this segment of our economy and the positive impact it has on West Virginia’s tourism industry,” said Keith Burdette, Secretary of Commerce. “The owners and crafters at each of these businesses take great pride in offering outstanding products with its own West Virginia signature that appeals to a variety of tastes.” The Mountain State has several breweries — many of which also offer a full restaurant menu — that produce

seasonal and yearround craft-brewed beers. In addition to fantastic manufacturers to visit, connoisseurs can find West Virginia craft beers at specialty shops, bars and restaurants. These beers are produced with seasonal, locally-produced ingredients by talented brewmasters.

Distilleries are an up-and-coming area of the market in West Virginia. The makers use locally grown ingredients to produce a variety of spirits — from vodka, gin and bourbon to artisan fruit cordials. Foodies and spirit lovers can visit the website www.wvtourism .com/spirits and click on

the state map to find wineries, breweries and distilleries located near them. For more information on tourism or to order a free 2013 West Virginia Official State Travel Guide, visit the West Virginia Division of Tourism online at of contact 1-800 CALL WVA.

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