The ‘Three Kings’ Go Home Until Next Christmas, 2017

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EVERYONE’S GENERALLY SAD AT THE SEASON’S ENDING — With all of the church, office and home Christmas Dinners and Parties now over, the official ending of the holiday season comes at Epiphany, when the Three Kings paid their respects by baring gifts for the Christ Child in Bethlehem, having followed the new, brighter star from distant kingdoms to the modest Israeli birthplace. Like in many Christian traditions, this past Sunday — Epiphany — found many youngsters, like Keeley McWhirter, clutching one of the Magi figurines and helping to take down the holy season’s other festive decorations in order to store them for next Yuletide. This task was followed by a tasty sandwich and soup luncheon, managed by Mrs. Anna Jean Rogucki, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church on Mineral Road in Glenville. Although the Christ Child’s manger scene and Christmas tree decorations may now be in storage everywhere, His spirit of faith, hope and love lives on throughout the year, especially in the hearts of His Christian followers. Happy New Year in this Year of Our Lord, 2017. (Staff photo by Dave Corcoran, Sr.) 

Sen. Romano talks money

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The fiscal crisis hasn’t happened yet, but the State Legislature is looking at a $400-to-$500 million shortfall in this next 2018 fiscal year,” State Senator Mike Romano (D-12th Senatorial District of Gilmer-Harrison-Braxton-Lewis) states to this newspaper.

Senator Romano indicated that he made his remarks to the Harrison County Association of Mayors at their annual Legislative Roundtable last week.

To help solve this nagging financial problem wrought by the state’s oil, gas and coal severance tax revenue decline, he suggests increasing the historical tax credits for small businesses. With these tax credits, the initiative will promote more entrepreneurs to buy empty downtown storefronts throughout the region, to renovate them and to establish tax paying small businesses in them. “If we can help these cities to deal with this store vacancy problem, that will be good,” he affirms.

In addition, there’s an effort afoot to require businesses to carry flood and business building owners’ insurance, so that in the cases of disasters, the state’s Rainy Day Fund will not have to be raided so often and as much. “I’m not sure about that idea,” he said, noting it would hurt the very same small businesses that the Historic Tax Credit would be helping.

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Dr. Bill Simmons looks to new education challenges

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A lifelong Gilmer County educator resigned from the local Board of Education as of January 1, 2017.

Dr. William K. Simmons made the announcement on Monday.

A Board member starting in 2006 — as president for most of those years — he oversaw the planning, construction and grand openings of two new elementary schools, Gilmer in Glenville and Leading Creek at Linn, as well as other educational and physical plant improvements. “In working with my other fellow board members, we’ve accomplished much,” he remarks with a feeling of satisfaction.

In the future, however, he advises, “It’s up to the parents to get active in their schools to ensure that their children are receiving the best education possible.”

He also assures the general public that his intention to resign has been planned for some time. “I informed the board back in July, 2016 that I wanted step down and to retire from the body,” he outlines. Then, tragedy struck his family in an auto accident. Later, in September, his wife of many years passed on from a variety of complications. Before she passed, Delores asked Dr. Simmons, “What will you do after I’m gone? I want you to carry on and do something that your heart wants you to do.”

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