Bits & Pieces: What about trick-or-treat?

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Liz Beavers

Sometimes as we try to go about our business in today’s world, we might tend to forget that there is a pandemic going on. Mineral County’s numbers are going back down again, thank God, and so we go to the stores, the local football games, church, and work-related events and hope the numbers stay down.

But then there is the reality: We must wear a mask. We may not be on “the list” to attend a local game, and even in church we sit six feet apart … or gather in the parking lot.

News events are often held outside so social distancing can be observed more effectively.

And while we may not be able to attend the Apple Harvest or many other fall-related or Halloween-centered events, we can still decorate our homes with pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales and try to keep up as much normalcy as possible.

So the question has arisen: What about trick-or-treating? What about trunk-or-treat? Is it safe for the kids to celebrate this staple of childhood? Or safe for us adults to help them celebrate?

The Keyser City Council has been asking that question, and working closely with the Mineral County Health Department to try to determine how to best answer it.

According to health department administrator A.Jay Root, Gov. Jim Justice is expected to make an announcement soon on whether trick-or-treating can be observed in the state, but he has not yet addressed the issue. (Root said the announcement may come Friday, after this was written.)

It was council member Mike Ryan’s comment at the last meeting that the city should follow the Governor’s directive, but Jennifer Junkins said she felt it should be “up to the parents and neighborhoods.”

They are expecting to be able to discuss it further and make a decision at the next meeting, set for Oct. 14. I’m sure other municipalities will be making their own decisions soon, as well.

We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, here are some other bits and pieces for you from Keyser and Mineral County:

- The Mineral County Commission has received $122,000 in COVID funding for July and $126,000 for August. Office of Emergency Management director Luke McKenzie continues to apply for the funding under the American CARES Act, which is used to help relieve costs incurred by the county as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Between March and July, Mineral County had received a total of $660,942.

 - The county commissioners have signed a decommissioning agreement with Clearway Energy, which operates the Pinnacle Wind Farm, to assure the money will be available to remove the wind mills should the wind farm ever cease operation.

An agreement has actually always been in place, since the wind mill farm started operation, but this one establishes the funds as opposed to a bond.

 - Newly-elected fire chief Mike Cannon reported to the Keyser City Council that the Keyser Volunteer Fire Department answered 30 calls in August, with an average response time of six minutes.

 - Keyser City Council member Jim Hannas noted that a person who has just purchased the Riverside Trailer Park in the North End of town is removing the old dilapidated trailers and plans to replace them with newer mobile homes.

 - The Keyser City Council gave permission for the police department to purchase a new computer server at an estimated cost of $4,783. They will wait, however, on purchasing new computers, as the server is the most immediate need.

Jim Hannas made the motion to make the purchase of the server and necessary programs, and Mike Ryan seconded it. The motion passed 4-0.

 - Council member Jennifer Junkins reported that the last of three orders for Hometown Heroes flags has been placed, and the flags are being erected as they arrive.

Her hopes are that they will all be in place by Veterans Day. They will be taken down and stored through the Christmas holiday, and she hopes to begin accepting sponsors for additional flags in March.