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Ironton, Lawrence County come together for Memorial Day parade

IRONTON — After a downsized version of its famed Memorial Day Parade took place last year, Ironton showed up for a more normal version of the annual event on Monday.

The Ironton-Lawrence Memorial Day Parade was held on Monday, with a bigger celebration than in 2020, when a much smaller version of the parade was held amid the coronavirus pandemic. No spectators were allowed at the event last year — it was, instead, live-streamed. While the pandemic is still happening, relaxed gathering restrictions and the availability of vaccines allowed a crowd to gather for the 2021 event.

Chris Donohue, who has lived in Ironton all his life, said he began volunteering with the parade as a child. His dad paid his membership dues for the parade committee and then Donohue went on to continue working with the parade in high school and as an adult. On Monday, he helped floats and groups get lined up for the procession.

Donohue’s parents, Rich and Lori Donohue, were also helping with the parade.

“I think it’s the one time of year where everybody comes together, whether they’re in it, whether they come to watch,” Donohue said of the parade. “Everybody is involved.”

Brian Blizzard, who served in the Army for 20 years, stood on the sidewalk to watch his daughter walk in the parade with other BSA Scouts. He said seeing his kid in the parade made him feel proud. Blizzard said he is a combat veteran who served in Iraq.

“I’m proud to live here. I really am,” Blizzard said.

Neighbors and friends Kit Summers and Joni Fraley, both of Ironton, watched the parade from 3rd Street. Both said the parade is an important event to the community in Ironton and it highlights veterans and current service members. The women had military ties in their families.

“I’m so tickled to see this,” Summers said. “God bless everyone that does it.”

Among the groups and floats lined up for the parade, seniors Emilee Matney and Brynn Davis were lined up as part of the Dawson-Bryant High School color guard. The pair wore their graduation caps during the parade.

“It’s our last time performing together, for all of the seniors really. It’s kind of sad but it’s also really exciting” Matney said. Davis added that the performance felt “special.”

The Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade is the longest continuously running parade in the country. It has been held annually since 1868.


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'Thank you': Memorial Day program held at Huntington's Memorial Arch

HUNTINGTON — Local veterans, their families and more gathered in Huntington on Monday at the Memorial Arch.

A Memorial Day program, sponsored by the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District and the Veterans Committee for Civic Improvement, was held to mark the holiday.

VCCI Chairman Fred Buchanan said the program has been held for several years, but there was not a 2020 event because of the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing veterans and their supporters come together was meaningful, Buchanan said following the program. Huntington is a patriotic community, he added.

“It means everything. It’s a recognition. It’s not a hand-clapping, yee-haw kind of celebration. Two words sum it up: Thank you,” Buchanan said. “Thank you for your sacrifice, thanks to your family for their sacrifice and thank you for giving your life.”

Several speakers were in attendance on Monday. Teri Booth, director of constituent services, read a letter from U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va. Gordon Jones, vice president of the park district board, and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams both gave remarks.

Monday’s keynote speaker was West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Evan Jenkins. He said in his speech that Monday’s program and the past Memorial Day programs like it give the community a moment to express gratitude for “those who gave their all for us and our country.” While many are wanting to get back to a normal pre-pandemic life, they have veterans to thank for that normal, he said.

“We value our way of life, we crave normal and we too often take it for granted. So who do we owe our normal way of life to? The more than 1.3 million Americans, servicemen and women, who died in service to our country,” Evans said in his address. “These heroes gave their lives to stop threats that we’ve faced over the past 245 years, to the rights, the liberties and the freedoms that we enjoy each and every day to bring us normalcy that is the foundation of our daily lives.”

Veterans and servicemembers were honored with ceremonies during the program. Buchanan explained the symbols of the Prisoners of War/Missing in Action ceremony. An empty seat at a small table is left for those who cannot be home. Buchanan also explained the meaning of the Flag Draped Coffin. Each fold honors a different aspect of servicemembers’ commitments.

The Memorial Day Program concluded with a presentation of memorial wreaths from various Huntington organizations and individuals. The wreaths were displayed by the Memorial Arch.


Cabell Midland tennis star Hanley Riner is the top seed in the state high school tennis tournament Friday and Saturday in Kanawha City.


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Appalachian Power to spray 5,000 acres with herbicides by helicopter

CHARLESTON — Appalachian Power will maintain rights of way for some power lines starting around July 1 by spraying 5,000 acres with herbicides by helicopter.

The company has announced it will apply aerial herbicides across 17 counties in central and southern West Virginia to manage vegetation in remote areas.

“The company generally makes aerial maintenance applications only in less populated areas where terrain and accessibility make it difficult for ground-based crews to safely clear rights of way,” Appalachian Power utility forester Travis Klinebriel said in a news release.

The utility maintains rights of way in populated areas and sensitive areas like parks and ponds by other means.

This year, Appalachian Power will use aerial herbicides on about 275 of around 2,500 miles of transmission lines, according to company spokesman Phil Moye.

“We’ve used this means of vegetation management for at least the last 50 years,” Moye said in an email.

But the onus on Appalachian Power to manage vegetation on tough terrain has increased over time, and so has scrutiny over the ecological and possible human health risks associated with certain herbicides.

Landowners willing to accept responsibility for clearing rights of way crossing their property in lieu of aerial herbicide spraying have the option of right of way maintenance agreements with Appalachian Power.

The agreement compensates the landowner by an amount equivalent to the cost of aerial herbicide application, given the work meets Appalachian Power’s specifications.

Farmers that had the machinery to do it would clear rights of way crossing their property in years past, according to Moye. He said it’s less common for people to choose that option now.

Moye said Appalachian Power makes reconnaissance flights over the areas to be sprayed and does not apply herbicides if humans or domestic animals are visible in areas to be targeted.

Appalachian Power asked residents who have questions about the program or who want to alert the company to the location of sensitive areas near power lines like springs, wells, streams, lakes, ponds, orchards, crop areas, gardens, pastures, meadows, year-round dwellings, public recreation areas and Christmas tree plantations to contact the company.

The following lines in the region are scheduled for maintenance:

CABELL COUNTY

Amos-Baker 765 kV — A transmission line, 58 miles long, on steel structures beginning at the Baker Station on Route 23 near Prichard, running northeast, passing the midpoints of Wayne, Culloden and Scott Depot and ending at the John Amos plant near Poca.

Culloden Loop 765 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at a structure point off the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near the Culloden Station on James River Turnpike near Culloden, running to the Culloden Station and continuing onward, ending at the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near Charleys Creek Road in Culloden.

Baker-Broadford 765 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Baker Station on Route 23 near Prichard, running south and passing the midpoint of Louisa, Kentucky and ending at the Big Sandy River.

Darrah-Tristate 138 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Darrah Station on Riverside Drive in Huntington, running west, passing the midpoint of Ceredo and ending at the Tri-State Station off Route 75 near Huntington Tri-State Airport.

Tristate-Belfonte 138 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Tri-State Station on Route 75 near Huntington, running west and passing the midpoint of the Huntington Tri-State Airport and ending at the Big Sandy River.

Leach-South Neal 69 kV — A transmission line on wood poles beginning near Route 52 south of Kenova, running north and ending at a switching structure located near Route 52 south of Kenova.

MASON COUNTY

Leon-Ripley 138 kV — A transmission line on steel poles beginning at the Leon Station off Dunham Road, running east, passing the midpoint of Evans and ending at the Ripley Station off Klondyke Road in Ripley.

Sporn-Kanawha River 345 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Sporn Plant, running south and crossing West Creek west of Letart. The line then continues south, crossing Clay Lick Run Road, Chestnut Ridge Road, County Route 2, Little Mill Creek Road, Red Mud Road and County Route 87 and ends at Structure 72 east of Kapp Ridge Road.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Amos-Baker 765 kV — A transmission line, 58 miles long, on steel structures beginning at the Baker Station on Route 23 near Prichard, running northeast, passing the midpoints of Wayne, Culloden and Scott Depot and ending at the John Amos plant near Poca.

Culloden Loop 765 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at a structure point off the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near the Culloden Station on James River Turnpike near Culloden, running to the Culloden Station and continuing onward and ending at the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near Charleys Creek Road in Culloden.

Bancroft-Nitro 69 kV — A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Bancroft Station located on Route 817 south of Winfield, running south and passing the midpoint of Poca and ending at the Nitro Station off Route 52 in Nitro.

WAYNE COUNTY

Amos-Baker 765 kV — A transmission line, 58 miles long, on steel structures beginning at the Baker Station on Route 23 near Prichard, running northeast, passing the midpoints of Wayne, Culloden and Scott Depot and ending at the John Amos plant near Poca.

Culloden Loop 765 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at a structure point off the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near the Culloden Station on James River Turnpike near Culloden, running to the Culloden Station and continuing onward and ending at the Amos-Baker 765 kV line near Charleys Creek Road in Culloden.

Baker-Broadford 765 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Baker Station on Route 23 near Prichard, running south and passing the midpoint of Louisa, Kentucky and ending at the Big Sandy River.

Darrah-Tristate 138 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Darrah Station on Riverside Drive in Huntington, running west, passing the midpoint of Ceredo and ending at the Tri-State Station off Route 75 near Huntington Tri-State Airport.

Tristate-Belfonte 138 kV — A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Tri-State Station on Route 75 near Huntington, running west and passing the midpoint of the Huntington Tri-State Airport and ending at the Big Sandy River.

Leach-South Neal 69 kV — A transmission line on wood poles beginning near Route 52 south of Kenova, running north and ending at a switching structure located near Route 52 south of Kenova.

Lovely 34.5 kV — A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Stonecoal, running northwest and ending at Jennies Creek.

Lovely 34.5 kV — A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Right Fork of Bull Creek, running northwest and ending at Cotton Hill.

Lovely 34.5 kV — A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Webb Road at the tunnel, running northwest and ending at the abandon tunnel.

Lovely 34.5 kV — A distribution line on wood poles beginning on the lower end of Webb Road, running northeast and then west and ending on US 52.


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