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Wesleyan College intern inventorying downtown businesses, residential spaces

June 5, 2010
By WAYNE SHEETS, Contributing Business Writer

If you see a young man meandering along the streets of Elkins gazing up at the upper stores of buildings and perhaps taking photographs of what he's looking at, don't be alarmed. That person in all probability will be Jordan Godwin, an intern who's working on his MBA at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His is serving his internship for his degree with the Randolph County Housing Authority through Community Works for West Virginia.

The purpose of Godwin's survey/analysis is to inventory the housing and business space available in downtown Elkins, including both occupied and vacant space.

"I am hoping that I can finish the inventory and have the data compiled in usable form before school starts in August," Godwin said. "If not, it will be available soon thereafter.

"We believe that the information will assist the RCDA and other organizations such as ON TRAC in their efforts to revitalize the downtown Elkins business area," he said. "The survey will show how much space is available in both categories and how much is vacant and usable. Some of it might be usable only after is has been refurbished before offering it to the prospective buyer/renter."

Godwin said the information will also be helpful in establishing the square-foot value of the space and assist the property owner in learning more about the market value of the space.

The data will be assembled into a portfolio and be made available to the public through the RCHA and the Randolph County Development Authority.

"My toughest challenge is the collection of the data," Godwin said. "Some people work with me freely and others, skeptical of what the data may be used for, won't work with me at all. That detracts ... from the survey in that if I am denied access to the property and information I need - I can only estimate the square footage and its market value."

Those who would like to dress in period attire and participate in events in Beverly or other local areas, or be a civilian re-enactor for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War are invited and encouraged to attend a Civil War Fashion Seminar at the Beverly Heritage Center on June 19.

Presenters Diane Tennant and Terry Riffle will share with attendees their extensive experience in creating and wearing 1860s attire. If you have costumes or accessories (dresses, hats, shoes, jewelry, ties, wraps, etc.) and would like the presenters to critique them for their appropriateness for the era, you are welcome to bring them with you to the seminar.

The event gets under way at 8:30 a.m. with registration and coffee. At 9 a.m. "What is proper attire" will be discussed. A salad luncheon and break to explore Chenoweth Days activities will commence at noon. "How to construct period garments" will be taken up at 1:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. an afternoon tea and discussion will conclude the program.

A fee of $15 for the event includes the salad luncheon and afternoon tea. All proceeds will go toward finishing the kitchen at the Beverly Heritage Center. RSVP is preferred by calling 304-637-7424 or by e-mail at

The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce's fifth annual golf tournament will be at the Elks Country Club on July 17. The tournament will get under way with a shot gun start at 10 a.m. This year's hole-in-one winner will receive a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro sponsored by Performance Chevrolet of Elkins and Parsons. Other prizes will be awarded for longest drive for men and women, closest to pin and even for the last place team.

The tournament is limited to 18 four-member teams. Openings still exist but are being filled fast. The registration fee is $200 for a team of four and $20 for cart rental.

Hole sponsors are still available for $100 each.

Registration and sponsor fees may be mailed to: Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, 100 Executive Plaza, Elkins, West Virginia 26241.

For additional information, call the chamber office at 304-636-2717 or e-mail

According to Ed Griesel, who along with his wife Elaine, saw to the arrangements for the Memorial Day ceremony at the All Veterans Memorial, the event was well attended, but there was room for many more.

Ed asked me to include in this column a special thanks to those who donated money to help cover the cost of refreshments. They were Wanda Arbogast, owner of the recently opened Mountain Dream Country Treasures gift shop, Tammy Anderson, owner of Good News Christian Book and Gift Store, Merllene Yorkey of Yorkey and Associates, Anne and Paul Beardslee, owners of Tunnel Mountain Bed and Breakfast, and Sue Pifer of the Elkins Sewing Center.

It seems that I was given and promoted the wrong operating hours for the Farmers Market, which opened last Saturday. I was told that I said the operating hours would start at 8 a.m. and end at noon. The hours are from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Apparently Saturday's 2010 inaugural was very successful with at least 15 vendors for that first day.

The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is still in need of volunteers. If you like meeting and helping strangers from all parts of the country and many foreign lands, this is a great opportunity to do so while helping the community as well.

If you'd like to help, call Ed or Elaine Griesel at 304-636-2903 or the Welcome Center at 304-635-7803.

West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass is urging residents to vaccinate their pets against rabies and to also consider vaccinating valuable livestock against the disease, which is widespread throughout much of the Mountain State.

According to Douglass, effective the first of this month, a person who owns or possesses a dog or cat in West Virginia shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for three years, boosted one year after initial vaccination and every third year thereafter. Dogs and cats need not be vaccinated before the age of 3 months but must be vaccinated by the age of 6 months.

For more information, call the office of the WVDA Director of Animal Health at 304-558-2214 or by e-mail at

The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is sponsoring a concert at town square on June 17.

"This is our way of giving something back to the community and of saying thanks to all those who support the Welcome Center," said Ed Griesel, president of the Welcome Center board or directors.

I'm told that entertainment will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. by musicians from the El Gran Sabor restaurant, but don't hold me to that - at press time I was unable to get confirmation on that.

The concert is free to the public. More details will be forthcoming.



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