EDITORIAL: Notables to honor from the past year – Part 2

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

Continuing from last edition’s editorial, we would like to honor more from Lawrence County and the region for their accomplishments this past year:

• Amanda Cleary, founder and director of non-profit Third and Center. While Cleary fell short in her bid for Ironton mayor (though she came impressively close), she accomplished much this year with her organization, including the return of the Summer Solstice Music and Arts Festival on the riverfront, establishing a youth arts program in the schools and bringing about the return of programming to the Ironton Senior Center, which Third and Center is now overseeing.

• Meredith Dunlap, of Fairland Middle School. Not only did she win this year’s Lawrence County Spelling Bee, she also made it a repeat feat. Dunlap was last year’s county champion and added to her family’s wins, as her older sister, Molly, was a past county winner.

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• Chesapeake Community Mission Outreach, who again delivered holiday aid to those in need. This year, the nonprofit, a coalition of local churches, provided food and toys for more than 500 families through their annual giveaway at the village’s community center. While it is unfortunate that such a situation of poverty exists in this county, it is a blessing that there are those who step up and fill that need.

• City officials in Ironton, including Mayor Sam Cramblit II and city council, who began two phases of paving projects this year, as well as broke ground a much-needed stormwater project for the north end. Thanks to careful planning and productive use of grants, they were able to aim big and produce a much better result.

• Over Yonder 4-H Club, who, not only won the top two awards at this year’s Lawrence County Fair, but continued a two-year sweep. Last year siblings Gracie and Gunnar Daniels, of Over Yonder, won Senior Showman and Junior Showman in the Showman of Showmen competition, the highest award a 4-H member can get at the fair. This year, the club saw siblings Isabella and Hunter Daniels take the same two positions.

• Phillip Carter, the longtime Marshall University social work professor, who retired this year, after four decades of teaching at the school. Carter, who led efforts to successfully desegregate downtown Huntington business, was honored in an unexpected way in the spring, when he was depicted by Jaden Young in the Burlington Elementary School Living Wax Museum. As a thank you, Carter, along with several friends involved in teaching history, treated the class to ice cream in August, marking the first time a subject depicted in the museum has met his portrayer.

• The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation and local and county officials, for successfully attracting Capchem, an international company based in China to Lawrence County. The company plans to open a factory to produce electrolytes for electric vehicles in Haverhill, which will employ 60 people and be a boost to the Tri-State’s economy.