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Briefly Shepherdstown for Dec. 10

By Staff | Dec 10, 2010

(Chronicle photo by Tricia Fulks) The 8,000-piece Sistine Chapel puzzle, which is currently being constructed, sits on a table undisturbed Wednesday. The Bridge Gallery Holiday Exhibit featuring local artists’ works will be featured through Jan. 1. For more information about the show see Page 1.

The Bridge Gallery Holiday Exhibit featuring local fine artists, pottery, photography and antique prints continues through Jan. 1.

Exhibiting artists include Diana Suttenfield, Don Rees, Michael Davis, Benita Keller, Susan Carney, Joy Bridy, Mark Muse, Tem Love, Kelly Scudieri, Malcolm Hally, Tim Kamer and Leesburg watercolor artist Catherine Hillis. Nationally recognized sculptor Toby Mendez has also contributed works to the exhibit.

In addition, a special art event continues at the gallery also through Jan 1.

The assembly of an 8,000-piece jigsaw puzzle depicting the famous Sistine Chapel Ceiling began last Sunday, and work will continue on Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.

The public is invited to stop in, enjoy the art exhibit and watch the puzzle masterpiece take shape. Assistance is welcome but space is limited.

Call 304-876-2300 for additional information.

Christmas Bird Count set Dec. 18

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society has set Dec. 18 for its first Eastern Panhandle Christmas Bird Count.

The count, traditionally called the “Charles Town” count, will focus on Jefferson County. The next count, which will take place on Jan. 2, will be called the “Inwood” count and will focus on Berkeley and Morgan counties.

These counts are part of a Christmas Bird Count that has been conducted throughout the western hemisphere every year since 1900 under the auspices of the National Audubon Society.

The purpose is to monitor the status and distribution of early-winter bird populations.

The data collected from this volunteer-based effort have been folded into what is now the longest-running database in ornithology, representing over 100 years of continuous information. This database is used to help spot trends in bird populations, which in turn can help identify shifts in environmental conditions.

Both experienced and novice birders are welcome to join in this season’s Eastern Panhandle counts.

All those who participate must register beforehand with PVAS. To register and/or to obtain more information, contact Bob Dean at bobdean52@gmail.com.

Santa to appear at Antietam center

SHARPSBURG – Kevin Rawlings, who portrays the Thomas Nast Patriotic Civil War Santa Claus, begins his 22nd holiday season with a seasonal presentation today the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center.

Rawlings, dressed in his 1862 Santa suit, will arrive to read “‘Twas the Night before Christmas” and visit with families.

This lively and informative presentation will complement a special interpretive program, “Christmas during the Civil War” by Park Historian Ted Alexander.

Tonight’s schedule includes a carol sing-a-long at 6:30 p.m., Alexander’s presentation at 7 p.m. and a visit from Santa at 7:30 p.m.

There is no cost for this program.

Civil War calendar available for free

CHARLESTON – The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has published “The Civil War in West Virginia,” a 13-month calendar highlighting a Civil War timeline featuring major events of the era and the importance of preserving Civil War resources. The public is invited to request a copy of the free calendar while supplies last.

Each month, the calendar focuses upon a different aspect of the Civil War in the state. The Battles of Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown in Jefferson County will be highlighted, as well as various other events.

To request a free copy of the calendar, write to West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 2011 Calendar, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard., E., Charleston, WV 25305 or call Conni McMorris at 304-558-0240, or e-mail conni.l.mcmorris@wv. gov. “The Civil War in West Virginia” 2011 calendar was funded in part by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Governor, first lady set to host events

CHARLESTON – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Tomblin will host four holiday Christmas parties, along with a weekend open house at the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion beginning today.

The first family has asked invited guests to bring nonperishable food items that will be donated to the United Way’s State Combined Campaign to help boost food pantries during the holidays. The holiday food drive is a new initiative created by the governor and first lady to assist with the fight against hunger in the state. The items collected during this year’s holiday parties will be distributed between the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Huntington Food Bank.

In addition to the four evening parties at the governor’s mansion, a holiday open house will be held on Dec. 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. The holiday open house is open to the public.

Shopping, beer tasting event on tap

CHARLES TOWN – A new Charles Town business has come up with a twist on holiday shopping. Dubbed “Beauty and the Brew,” it combines a men’s shopping night with beer tasting.

“Who says holiday shopping has to be painful for men?” asks Susan Ford Pritchard, owner of Washington Street Gallery & Gift. “Beauty and the Brew provides the solution – expert advice on finding the perfect gift for the special woman in your life and a beer tasting.”

Artists from the gallery will be on-hand to advise men on gift items including jewelry, paintings, glass, wearable art, furniture, photography, pottery, ceramics and more.

The events will take place from 5 until 8 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21.

Washington Street Gallery & Gift, located at 235 W. Washington Street in Charles Town, features the work of 50 local artists, artisans and authors.

For more information, visit the website at www.WStreetGallery. com or call 304-724-2090.

‘Governor’s Mansion’ ornament on sale

CHARLESTON – The 2010 Mansion Ornament will feature a handpainted cardinal perched on winter holly. It is painted by Michelle Goodman of Alum Creek, W.Va.

The glass ornament is 100 percent made in the United States. It has the cardinal on one side and “Governor’s Mansion 2010” on the other side.

The ornament is $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Fund.

The ornament is available at the West Virginia State Museum Shop. Call 304-205-7911 or visit the website at www.tamarackwv.com for more information.

New Reverend joins local church

MIDDLEWAY – The Rev. Susan MacDonald has assumed the duties of Parish Priest in Charge at Grace Episcopal Church replacing the Rev. John Alfriend of Charles Town, who retired from the active ministry this past September.

“Grace Church is a very welcoming community. They are living out their mission to be Christ’s hands and hearts in the world, and I’m delighted to join them in worshipping and serving the Lord,” MacDonald said in a press release.

She was ordained in 2007 by the Bishop of the Diocese of West Virginia. She is married to Randy MacDonald and is the daughter of John and Victoria Savage of Shepherdstown. Her daughter Caitlin lives in Towson, Md. and is a special education teacher.

Grace Episcopal Church is located at 159 E. St. in Middleway.

Services are held at 11 a.m. each Sunday. For more information visit www.graceepiscopal@frontiernet.net.

Gov. Tomblin appoints member

CHARLESTON – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday the appointment of West Virginia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato to serve as the state’s Homeland Security Advisor.

Gianato becomes the governor’s official counsel on homeland security matters. He also becomes West Virginia’s liaison with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and coordinator of all homeland security activity within the state.

Gianato takes on the advisor’s role in addition to his duties as director of the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management office.

Before stepping into his state government position, Gianato, of McDowell County, W.Va., has spent the majority of his professional career in public safety roles.

“He has a long history working with the law enforcement community, coordinating and implementing strategic plans for emergency responses, along with duties that involve public policy. Jimmy has a broad understanding of how the federal and state governments must interact to maintain public safety,” Tomblin said in a release.

“I am truly honored that Governor Tomblin has placed his confidence in me to help move the West Virginia Homeland Security Program to the next level,” Gianato said in a release.

“Working as a team with Secretary Joe Thornton and our other partners at the federal, state and local level, I am committed to ensuring that West Virginia will have one of the best programs in the nation to protect our citizens.”

Sen. Manchin sends an opposition letter

WASHINGTON – Sen. Joe Manchin sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid Wednesday expressing opposition to continued preferential pricing support by the federal government for ethanol.

Sen. Manchin joins Senators Dianne Feinstein and Jon Kyl along with a bipartisan group of 15 other senators in opposition to this measure.

Manchin states in his letter, “I understand that if the current subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline is extended for five years, the cost to the Federal Treasury is estimated to be $31 billion, while the one-year cost for extending both the tariff as well as the ethanol subsidy is scored at roughly $6 billion. These are funds that we do not have, being dedicated to an industry that is economically viable and less deserving than many other energy stimulus efforts.”

Manchin stated that the extension of the 45 cent-per-gallon subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline and the 54 cent-per-gallon tariff on ethanol imports has proven to be fiscally irresponsible and seems to be making the country more dependent on importing foreign oil.