The Observer focuses on the stories of Jefferson County and West Virginia, looking beyond the headlines to inform the public discusssion on important topics relevant to the community, including the local economy, environment, education, politics, and public health. We also spotlight local artisans, artists, musicians, businesses & community organizations.
The Friends of Shepherdstown Library (FOSL) invites artists and crafters of all ages and skill levels to create an original 8”x8”(or larger) work of art to donate for an online auction.
After the past year of 24/7 political and pandemic coverage, it might seem odd to hear David Welch say “we need to talk more about politics, not less.” The director of the Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University is quick to point out that he means being able to have constructive conversations.
Beyond its conversation events and programming, the Stubblefield Institute’s mission extends to being a catalyst for introducing the topic of civil political communication across the Shepherd University campus.
The planned lineup for 2021 will feature a storyteller each month. Details will be posted on the website as they are finalized. All events will be presented online through June.
Adam Booth credits a course he took with Rachael Meads in the Appalachian Studies department at Shepherd University for starting him on the path to becoming a professional storyteller, a passion he has pursued as a career for the past fifteen years.
As a difficult and challenging year winds down and the pandemic shows new surges, I find much comfort observing nature. The transition from late fall into winter to me represents more of a beginning than an end.
A few years ago, I took a day off from work, packed some clothes, and drove from my former home in the DC area to Milton, West Virginia. I had not visited Milton (pop. 2400) before nor its surrounding areas, but I felt that some of the sights during my six-hour road trip were familiar.
The Shepherdstown Public Library continues its regular weekly reading programs for all ages and adds a new program for teens this month. Visit the “events” tab on the Library’s Facebook page at 11 am on Tuesdays and 6 pm on Saturdays for live storytime presentations. You can view past storytime presentations under the “video” tab […]
“We do know it’s a dangerous disease,” Dr. Terrence Reidy emphasized. “There are many bad outcomes with COVID-19 and we can’t expect the vaccine to end it quickly.” Reidy, the Health Officer for the Health Departments of the three counties in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, is following the numbers more closely than most. He says […]
The discussion and development of new theater goes on, even if the stages are dark. With the continued presence of COVID-19, the theater community continues to create and explore new avenues for sharing and collaborating online — offering the public glimpses into the process that would normally not be so visible. The Contemporary American Theater […]
The Harpers Ferry Park Association (HFPA) is organizing monthly hikes led by experienced guides to walk, explore and learn about the park.
Elaine Bartoldson, Director of the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA), describes EPTA’s mission as “providing service for the workforce, individuals who have no other way to get around.” She summarized her perspective on the value of EPTA, saying, “without public transportation, things will stop for the people who use it.”
You can still shop close to home on alternate Sunday mornings for local produce, apples, plants, flowers, breads & baked goods, cheeses, yogurt, grass-fed beef, eggs, chicken, pork, local honey, mushrooms, salsas & dips, maple syrups, vinegars, spices, teas, candles, body care, and other locally-produced items. COVID-19 guidelines continue — please wear a mask, follow […]
There is an energy when you walk in the door at Lilah, even when there are no customers inside. Perhaps it’s the wood-fired oven blazing through the open window into the kitchen. Perhaps it’s Connie Heyer working to put together the dining room or Kevin Longmire and the staff hustling in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the smiling image capturing the memory of the Heyers’ dog Lilah overlooking the bar. Whatever the source, it’s clear that you’ll be welcomed into Shepherdstown’s newest restaurant.
Whether you choose to measure by the bushel or peck, there’s no denying that a recent $125,000 grant awarded to local grocer Bushel & Peck will soon allow the organization to offer a lot more local, healthy food to the community.
Need a last-minute gift or a sweet way to start the New Year? Local honey, beeswax candles, and more are available from Shade’s Farm! “Curt’s products are great, and his attention to quality service is excellent and appreciated,” said a satisfied holiday customer. See the local retailer listings on the Facebook page or order online […]
When The Observer spoke with Greg Petersen of the Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM) for our July 2020 issue, the Food Pantry operated by JCCM in downtown Charles Town was in the early days of navigating the pandemic and the staff was anticipating a sharp increase in demand. We recently touched base with John Cloyd, Greg’s colleague at JCCM to see what they experienced over the summer and what they expect this winter.
About a half hour after sunrise, the song of a white-throated sparrow came from our big forsythia bush. I look forward to these sparrows every year, but this time I was paying special attention.
Driving around, it’s easy to see the agricultural activity that surrounds us in Jefferson County, but it often seems at a distance. As part of a planned series of articles looking at the activities that have defined Jefferson County across several centuries, The Observer recently visited one of these operations — the Blue Spruce Farm in Kearneysville WV.
After the WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a notice on November 5, 2020 that it was authorizing the Rockwool stone wool insulation manufacturing facility in Ranson to operate under a general water pollution control permit, the Jefferson County Foundation noted that the source water protection area map submitted as part of the facility’s application process marked only 4 drinking water wells within the one mile buffer zone.