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.
On November 16, Jefferson County schools shifted to remote learning for all students based on the WV State Department of Education guidelines. The WV Department of Health and Human Resources Education map (left) released the previous day showed Jefferson County at an “orange” level of risk (between 15 and 24.9 active cases per 100,000 population). The “Harvard” map (right), updated through the same day, November 15, indicated that Jefferson County (along with many other counties in WV) was already at the “red” level of risk (over 25 active cases per 100,000 population). No counties in West Virginia fell into the “Harvard” map’s “green” risk level.
Health experts around the globe have been warning of the risk of a pandemic like COVID-19 for years — and they tell us that we can expect similar viruses to break out in the future. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella suggests that our current approach has focused on hiding from this virus and he makes the case that it’s just as important to strengthen our resistance to COVID-19 and future viruses — in other words, healthier lifestyles for healthier immune systems.
The Music School at Shepherd University makes a point to be a highly personalized experience for its students. In contrast to many programs at larger institutions, Shepherd is focused on undergraduates and emphasizes the opportunities for its students to study directly with faculty. Unfortunately, the very adjectives that one would use to describe music programs in general and Shepherd’s program specifically — intimate, group, performance, together — also describe the activities the health department advises against during the pandemic health crisis.
The Observer asked Stephen Willingham to explore how the local public school system is managing through the current public health crisis. The author interviewed the Superintendent and also spoke with teachers about their experiences in the classroom and online.
Today Ortega’s Taco Shop is still busy, but with a different atmosphere. The same approach to the food, but a lot of rethinking about the operations.
The West Virginia Secretary of State maintains the GoVoteWV.com website portal to assist with voting questions, registration, and absentee ballot requests. Here are some quick tips and links to help navigate key dates and actions so you can make sure your vote gets counted.
The Certified Guide Tours, operated by the volunteers of the Harpers Ferry Park Association, are once again available with some modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With its regular concert activities on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eastern panhandle’s Friends of Music organization is experimenting with technology to produce virtual concerts they’re calling “Musical Postcards,”
The last day to register to vote in West Virginia for the November election is October 13. If you are registered, you may request an absentee ballot anytime until October 28. Rules for absentee voting have been updated to allow any voter to claim Covid-19 as a health reason for requesting an absentee ballot
Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, there is no doubt that art touches your life. The arts tell our story, they are a beautiful legacy. Engaging people from an early age in the arts enhances their development by opening their eyes to different experiences, different voices, and uniquely personal ways for them to express their own dreams and visions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peddle & Paddle in Shepherdstown is providing multiple avenues to get outside and be active while social distancing.
The Harpers Ferry Park Association bookstore in lower town has been closed since March due to COVID-19, but starting in September, the organization will have a pop-up bookstore outside on the green across the street from the bookstor.
Cindy Dunn has owned The Vintage Lady shop since 2004, and she’s seen a lot of people walk through the door in the past sixteen years. That changed when the pandemic shut down her shop in March.
For Libby Powell, it started with a carnival-type popcorn popper that her kids got her as present. Thinking it might be fun to repurpose the popper to roast coffee, Libby began to experiment a quarter cup of beans at a time.