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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Fourth of July fun Both Montgomery and Gauley Bridge celebrated Independence Day Thursday with free treats for those in attendance, as well as music, games and fireworks. Those who turned out seemed to enjoy the celebrations across the Upper Kanawha Valley.

Leaders hope to keep Hawks Nest golf course open BY C.V. MOORE

THE REGISTER-HERALD

MARK FORDYCE/FOR THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

STEVE KEENAN/THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

In the face of the threatened closure of Hawks Nest Golf Course, county and state leaders have pledged to attack the issue from several angles. The state has said the course will be closed at the end of the golf season, but local leaders hope to keep the facility open by engaging stakeholders, creating a sustainability plan, building the membership base, and improving marketing. “I think it’s important,” Sen. William Laird, D-Fayette, recently told the Fayette County Commission. “The Upper Kanawha Valley has contributed to the economic engine of the state in terms of its mineral wealth for years. They’ve taken an awful lot out of the Upper Kanawha Valley (...) and we owe it to the citizens there to make that facility open for public use. I think we can get it done if we work together, but we’re going to have to work pretty quickly.” County Commission president Matthew Wender agreed and called the golf course a “neglected step-child” of the state park system. The county recently received a letter from the state confirming what they already suspected was the state’s intent to close the golf course on June 30, due in large part to an operating deficit. Three years ago, that deficit was $164,796 for the summer. But the most recent season saw a reduction in the deficit to $78,530, and a modest increase in revenue has been noted since 2010. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has operated Hawks Nest Golf Course since April 2000. The land is privately owned by Brookfield Energy. “Rounds played and revenue generated have been minimal,” wrote Department of Commerce Secretary J. Keith Burdette in the letter. “Furthermore, the golf course does not generate any additional spin-off revenue at nearby Hawks Nest State Park, such as overnight stays at the lodge or through the park’s other amenities and services.” See GOLF COURSE on 3

STEVE KEENAN/THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

School system saving on the cost of workers’ compensation insurance BY C.V. MOORE

THE REGISTER-HERALD

STEVE KEENAN/THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

MARK FORDYCE/FOR THE HERALD

MARK FORDYCE/ FOR THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

STEVE KEENAN/ THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

STEVE KEENAN/ THE MONTGOMERY HERALD

FAYETTEVILLE — Workers’ compensation insurance rates continue to fall for Fayette County Schools, spelling good news for the county’s bottom line. Last year, the county saved approximately $125,000 in insurance costs. This year, that amount was a comparable $120,000. “This saved total of $245,000 can be put to use on other things instead of sending it to an insurance company,” said Ron Cantley, Fayette County Schools Director of Operations. “Just like energy savings that we put into new equipment with our energy management contract, this type of activity represents resources that help the school system without going to the taxpayers for additional funds.” Cantley credits the savings to a Return To Work Policy, a falling accident rate and excellent teamwork across the entire county. Mike Lively of Lively Insurance presented the savings to the Board of Education at its June meeting, congratulating the school system all the way from the employees to the superintendent. Lively said that the three-year effort to lower rates is finally paying dividends. “It’s been a tremendous effort to get to this place,” he said. “It’s not a fluke and it doesn’t magically happen. It’s a lot of hard work.” The Return To Work Policy is designed to get injured employees back to work as quickly as possible. It lets injured employees know that the school system appreciates their work and wants them to be back on the job and productive, according to Lively. See SAVING on 3

Index Calendar Classified

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10

Opinions News

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2-3

Sports

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Community

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Schools

7

Obituaries

5

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