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2019: Year in Review

January 8, 2020
Tyler Star News

As we continue this journey of life into a new year, we often think of things we need to do better in the coming year. Whether one's goals and resolutions reflect a change of diet, exercise regime, or to accomplish more on the to-do list, we shouldn't completely disregard our past in pursuit of the new. Our experiences in life are the building blocks for our future. The memories and experiences - whether positive or negative - teach us and shape us into the people we are today.

So in celebration of the new year, the staff of the Tyler Star News reflects on some memories and experiences of the local area that has impacted our community and individuals alike and is now history.

In 2019, Middlebourne faced the loss of Witschey's Market. RKE Corporation - an independent family owned retailer of 44 years - purchased the longtime local business, and officially assumed the ownership on June 18.

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Marble Festival was a great success this year with various vendors setting up shop, children enjoying the provided games, and marbles galore.

Similarly, the Sistersville Ferry was suspended for the year. However, residents can have hope as it was firmly established that the ferry will resume operations in 2020.

However, the same can't be said for the County Home in Tyler County, which the county commission had unanimously approved for demolition at their May 28 meeting. Although highly controversial, the County Home will see demolition sometime in the future.

Also in this past year, city officials of Paden City faced some heat, when news about the PCE contaminant was released to residents. The news of the contamination, by a chemical called Tetrachloroethylene (TCE) - also known as perchloroethylene (PCE) - was first brought to the public's attention through the March 4 Paden City Council meeting. In a letter from the city regarding a contamination it said, "Our monitoring has shown an average PCE concentration in the drinking water supply for 2018 of 5.5 parts per billion (ppb), which is in excess of the USEPA's Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) of 5.0 ppb.

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health has issued us a formal Notice of Violation for exceeding the MCL for PCE."

Throughout the year, the city and other officials have been tirelessly working to reduce the contamination with some positive results. While work is still ongoing, residents can rest assured that the situation is being handled correctly. Work on the project is expected to commence this month according to city officials who awarded the contract to Litman Contracting of New Martinsville.

More recently, it was announced that both Wetzel and Tyler Counties would receive funding for expanding broadband service within the two areas. The Tyler County Development Authority, Inc. was awarded a 50/50 percent loan/grant totaling $3,516.00 which will provide direct fiber broadband internet availability to 1,366 households, farms and businesses covering 26.13 square miles with a service population of 3,291. Tyler County's eligible service area for the new broadband fiber optic cable includes the Town of Middlebourne and the Pursley, Centerville, Alma, and Shirley areas.

Other highlights of Tyler County during 2019 include the following:



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