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The town’s top stories of 2010

By Staff | Dec 31, 2010

(Chronicle photo by Kelly Cambrel) One of the town's biggest stories of the year, Shepherdstown Town Council approved construction on a new town hall that began in August. The new facility is slated to be finished in the spring of 2011.

As 2010 draws to a close, news stories from around the world begin to resurface as citizens reflect on the big news of the year.

Shepherdstown had its own headlines from a new town hall to a late senator’s archives coming to town to election news.

New Town Hall

After much debate, the town council approved the construction of a new town hall, and in August of this year the project officially began.

Now in its second phase, the new building will encompass 3,000 square feet and provide more room for meetings and town business.

A project that has been in the works for years, the new town hall has been a hotly contested item on the council agenda time and again, with many in the community favoring a renovation of the old town hall or the use of alternative existing buildings rather than the demolition and construction of an entirely new site.

Nevertheless, the construction of a new hall is now “moving right along” without major problems, according to construction manager and project coordinator, John Brady. He anticipates completion of the project in late March or early April 2011.

Town Council Election

The local municipal elections made the news earlier this year as Shepherdstown residents considered the candidates for town council this past spring.

A reportedly low voter turnout characterized the uncomplicated nature of the election, with all candidates running unopposed and only around 7 percent of registered voters participating. Those elected were Lori Robertson, Wanda Grantham Smith, David Rosen, Bane Schill and Josh Stella.

Perhaps uniquely, only four of the five at large council members were conventionally elected due to a shortage in candidates in June. The fifth, David Springer was later appointed to the vacant seat by Mayor Jim Auxer.

Byrd Documents come to SU

This year the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd made national headlines, while his impact on the state of West Virginia and the local community became especially apparent.

Following his death, Shepherd University began the process of acquiring thousands of feet worth of personal and official documents to be housed and archived at SU’s Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.

According to the Byrd Center, the documents include personal letters (including correspondence with 12 U.S. presidents), campaign speeches, photographs and even grade school report cards.

The center will serve as resource for those all over the country interested in researching the life and work of the late senator.

SU Football, a Record-Breaking season

Fall 2010 marked Ram Football’s record-breaking 12-2 season, which saw the team become the first WVIAC school to make the NCAA Division II national semifinals.

The Ram’s season began rather hopefully, with a string of early wins throughout the fall, eventually resulting in 12 victories overall and only one loss by early winter.

After a win over Mercyhurst, Shepherd was named NCAA II champions and advanced to national semifinals against Delta State. In the end, Delta State defeated the Rams 29-17, but SU ended the season ranked No. 7 in their division, a best in the program’s history.

Freedom’s Run

For the second year, the local area played host to thousands who came to participate in one of the area’s largest events.

Freedom’s Run is 26-mile marathon through four local national parks including, Harpers Ferry, the C&O Canal, Antietam Battlefield and the Potomac Heritage Trail. The popular event included a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kid’s run, and crossed through Sharpsburg and Shepherdstown.

Organized in part by local resident Mark Cucuzzella, the event is designed to promote healthfulness and encourage the use of local trails and parks.

Registration for the 2011 race begins on Feb. 1.

Election 2010

2010 was a year of elections.

For the citizens of Shepherdstown that meant not only electing new town council members but also participating in the election of county, state and U.S. Senate representatives.

The most arguably contentious local race was the three-way contest for Shepherdstown’s county commissioner, between Democratic candidate Paul G. Taylor, Republican Walt Pellish and Independent candidate Ed Dunleavy.

In a surprise victory Pellish became the first Republican candidate to be named county commissioner for the Shepherdstown district in years.

The election of Pellish followed the loss of incumbent Commissioner Jim Surkamp. Surkamp lost to Taylor in the Democratic primary before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense for unauthorized presence in a polling place, stemming from an incident during the 2009 election.

Pellish beat Taylor in the 2010 general election with less than 1 percent of the vote.