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Census Bureau Urging Farmers, Businesses to Return Forms

January 26, 2008
By WAYNE SHEETS, Contributing Business Writer
In early December, the U.S. Census Bureau sent more than 4 million businesses, including 460 in Randolph County, its 2007 Economic Census forms. The forms are due back to the bureau on Feb. 12.

While many very small businesses were not sent a form, those businesses that did get one are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to complete and return it.

Many businesses may not realize how important this census is. The data — though collected only once every five years — supports public policy and business decisions at the national and local level.

If you need more information, or help completing the form, visit the Census Bureau’s Web site at www.census.gov/econhelp or call 1-800-233-6136.

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus Douglas mailed the state’s Census of Agriculture forms to all state farmers in early January. The completed forms are due back in the commissioner’s office no later than Feb. 4.

The census gives all farmers a voice regardless of the size of their operation, and provides decision makers at all levels with valuable information about the state of agriculture through the United States.

Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the census is a complete count of the nation’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, as well as other topics. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation.

For more information about the 2007 Census of Agriculture, or if you are farmer and did not receive a census, call the West Virginia Field Office at 1-800-535-7088.

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Amy Busch Schumacher, broker of Bennett-Carney Properties, recently earned the prestigious Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) designation presented by the Real Estate Brokerage Managers Council. The CRB is recognized industry-wide as the measure of success for real estate brokers and managers. Realtors earning the designation have completed a comprehensive program combining experience with management education.

The council is a not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors with almost 7,000 members in North America. Schumacher is the first NAR member in Elkins to receive the honor. Innovative and result-orientated programs, products and services are continually being developed to enhance the productivity and profitability of council members.

Schumacher is the owner of Bennett-Carney Properties and a member of the Elkins-Randolph County Board of Realtors, the West Virginia Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. She is a past director for the WVAR and continues to serve on the Professional Standards Committee of the organization. She is a member of the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Elkins, and serves as a member of the board of directors for each organization. She is an assistant director of the Mountain State Forest Festival, a member of the board for the Randolph County Habitat for Humanity, and a member of the athletic boosters club for Elkins High School. She attends the First United Methodist Church where she serves on the board of trustees.

For more information, call the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers at 1-800-621-8738, e-mail infor@crb.com, or visit www.CRB.com.

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I suspect Domino’s Pizza’s advertising campaign this month brought a few chuckles to you as it did to me. First, I have to admire the youngsters who braved the cold and windy weather to stand along the Beverly Five-lane and at the corner of Randolph Avenue and 11th Street waving their signs proclaiming Domino’s specials and prices. What was funny, though, was the way they were holding and waving the signs. I can’t imagine anything more boring than what they were doing, so perhaps their methodology was not by accident.

The youngster at the corner of Randolph Avenue and 11th Street was holding his or her (they were so bundled up against the cold that it was hard to tell whether they were boys or girls) sign upside-down a time or two when I passed by. The one working the Five-lane one day near the old Short Stop service station was the one who really brought on the best chuckle, though. He was walking with the sign behind his back rocking it back and forth in time with his long, purposeful strides. At first glance from behind, he reminded me of an old turkey gobbler in full strut with his tail fanned out trying to impress a hopeful female conquest.

Another business in town that uses a unique advertising strategy this time of year — the income tax season — is the Liberty Tax Service on Davis Avenue. Folks, it takes a lot of nerve and intestinal fortitude to dress up like a replica of the Statue of Liberty and stand out in the cold, rain and snow waving at everyone who drives past. From the looks of their costumes, though, I’m sure they’re warm and dry, so warm in fact, that I’ll bet they’re glad that income tax season doesn’t come in July and August.

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Gene Wells, owner of Fat Tire Cycle, has closed his Elkins store at 101 Randolph Ave. and moved everything back to Buckhannon. He opened the Elkins store in April 2000. “The first few years went very well, but business had been in steady decline for the past couple of years,” Wells said. “In fact, the last six months were really slow. Our Christmas sales were practically non-existent this year. We tried everything we could think of to trim operating costs and boost sales in our efforts to keep the Elkins location open. We even tried to find a better location, but couldn’t. Nothing worked.”

The business, located at 33 E. Main St. in Buckhannon, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on April 10. For more information, call Wells at 472-5882.

We’re sorry you had to close your store here in Elkins and wish you continued success in Buckhannon.

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This week’s meeting of the Downtown Merchants group focused primarily on beautification of the city and upcoming events including the July 4 celebration. Yeah, I know, that’s a long way off — you know the rest. The first planning meeting will convene on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Caboose Room of the Railroad Depot. If you’d like to help, you’re welcome as sunshine this time of year.

Two more new faces were present at Tuesday’s meeting — Jay Wallace, chief executive officer of Allegheny Insurance Services, and artist Kadra Kramer, owner of Blue Door Studios in the Seneca Mall. This is the second consecutive meeting that’s seen new faces. Remember, everyone is welcome.

Ed Griesel, president of the association, mentioned a Web site www.newrules.org, which contains a wealth of information regarding local community self-reliance and self-governance. The site contains information about agriculture, energy, the environment, equity, finance, governance, information, retail and taxation — all of which are integral parts in the sustainability and stability of a community.

I think it worthy of some investigation by all those involved in the Vision/Action 2010 project, and everyone else interested in the continued growth of the economy and quality of life in Elkins. The site provides an abundance of information about what other communities are doing to preserve, invigorate and expand its local economy under what is called “The New Rules Project” — and other programs. The heart of the Web site is a growing storehouse of community and local economy-building rules, laws, regulations and ordinances. The New Rules Project identifies rules that honor a sense of place, continuity and stability as well as innovation and enterprise.

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Steve Belan entertained Elkins Rotarians at Monday’s weekly luncheon with a talk about teen court. Belan is exploring the feasibility of the program in which teenagers serve as sentencing jurors for minor crimes.

The program provides for an offender’s peers to pass sentencing, not innocence or guilt, on those who have committed a minor crime. It’s an interesting program with the goal of helping teen first-time offenders see the error of their ways before they become serious or repeat offenders. Many aspects of the program still need a great deal of study and evaluation — acceptance among teenagers and funding, for example. The program is already in effect in Monongahela, Marion and Mercer counties and appears to be working well. We’ll be hearing more about this program in the near future.



 
 
 

 

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