It is overdue, but I definitely want to take time to offer a “nice job” to Terry Stephens and the volunteers who helped bring about the first Minco Music Heritage Festival.

By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
It is overdue, but I definitely want to take time to offer a “nice job” to Terry Stephens and the volunteers who helped bring about the first Minco Music Heritage Festival.
I love special events which get people out and about, socializing, listening to music, supporting local vendors and businesses, and otherwise having some good, clean fun, and the Minco Music Festival provided the opportunity to do just that.
And while I don’t think the crowds were quite as big as Terry and the volunteers expected, I would submit two comments - most of these things start small and build upon their own success, and the festival should be held at a time when it is not in competition with the Mineral County Fair.
I was involved most of that Saturday with Relay for Life, and because it and the Brooks Park venue of the music festival were so close, I saw folks walking from one to the other and enjoying both. I know I did.
I think in the future the two events could continue to feed off each other and not create any problem for either.
However, those folks involved in the Mineral County Fair are usually not going back and forth. In fact, many of the families camp over there so they can be on site all week.
Likewise with the Rolling Acres Gospel Jubilee, which was also that weekend.
With that said, I applaud Terry and the volunteers who worked so hard to bring this festival to Keyser, and hope the sparse crowds won’t deter them from planning the second one - on a non-fair week.
I would also like to see the festival become the catalyst for something I have promoted for many years - a full-fledged year-round celebration of our connection to Frosty the Snowman, Peter Cottontail and Smokey the Bear.
It is Keyser’s claim to fame … and so very under-utilized. But that will undoubtedly be the subject for another column down the road!
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Here are some other bits and pieces for you:
 - Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft has officially assumed his new duties and was in attendance for his first board of education meeting Tuesday, July 2.
During the comment portion of the meeting, he spoke briefly about the education bill signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice and noted that he is “waiting on the details to see what it means to Mineral County.”
He did say he is optimistic, as the bill “overall can have a lot of benefits” for the education system.
 - Superintendent Ravenscroft reported that, due to recent upgrades to Keyser Primary and Frankfort Middle schools to help them become more energy efficient, KPS noticed a 14 percent reduction in costs in May and FMS a 48 percent reduction.
 - During the June 26 Keyser City Council meeting, police chief Tom Golden proposed raising the city’s court costs for people who are contesting tickets from the present $5 to $50-$100.
The recommendation will be placed on the agenda for a future council meeting.
 - Keyser parks and recreation commissioner William Zacot announced several upcoming events, including the following: July 13 - Solid Gold will play at the Brooks Park amphitheater from 5-8 p.m.; July 19 - luau at the John R. Shelton Swimming Pool; July 20 - Mountain Bluegrass will play at the Brooks Park amphitheater from 5:30-8 p.m.
 - The Keyser City Council approved donating the use of Brooks Park to Keyser High School Athletic Queen candidate Rebecca Ravenscroft, but charging her to rent the pool because they have to cover costs of lifeguards, etc. The council also voted to refund the cost for renting Sirk Park (West End) to the Keyser Library.
“You do these things for the kids, and it’s all free,” Zacot told library director Connie Sutton, expressing his opinion that the city should donate the use of the park to help the library.
 - The Keyser City Council voted to return Mary Ridgel to another term on the Mineral County Library Board, to retain Terry Liller as the city’s representative on the Mineral County Development Authority, to appoint Liller to the Region 8 Solid Waste Authority (replacing former council member Karol Ashenfelter), and to appoint Jennifer Junkins as the city’s representative to the Mineral County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 - Church Street resident Shawn Snyder announced that a Citizen’s Watch is being planned for the area. Further details will be announced as they are ironed out.
 - Keyer High School band director Suzanne Warrick presented a $10,913.13 check to the Mineral County Board of Education in June, paying off the line of credit extended to the band for the purchase of new uniforms.

Liz Beavers can be reached at lbeavers@newstribune.info