POINT PLEASANT — At its regular meeting on Thursday, the Mason County Commission welcomed royalty.
Lauren Roush of New Haven, was recently crowned first runner-up in the Miss West Virginia USA contest. Roush, who is a student at West Virginia University studying education, said the contest recently took place in Flatwoods. She told Commissioners Rick Handley, Miles Epling and Tracy Doolittle, she prepared for the competition for about a year. The preparation included coaching, working out everyday, choosing the perfect evening gown and more.
When it came to the competition, Roush said it consisted of an interview, swimsuit, evening gown and question – one of which was drawn randomly from a fish bowl to be sure contestants were thinking on their feet. Roush’s question was “Why should Miss USA represent a social cause?”
Roush said standing on that stage when it was down to just two contestants was “a great moment for me” and overall “a great experience.”
Roush, who was just a heartbeat away from going to compete in Miss USA to represent West Virginia, said she was nonetheless very happy for her colleague who won, calling her a good friend. She hopes to return next year and try again. Roush is also a former Miss Battle Days.
Commissioners congratulated Roush on her win and thanked her for representing Mason County well.
In other commission news:
Commissioner Rick Handley alerted Epling and Doolittle to the fact he was informed the WorkforceWV Office in Point Pleasant would be going from being open two days a week, to only one. Handley had found out earlier in the day and more information was still being gathered about the possible reduction in hours at press time.
Steve Stewart of Appalachian Electric Power spoke to commissioners, talking about a new mobile alert system available to customers. Customers can sign up to have alerts go to their smart phones alerting them of power outages at their residence or business, when the power might be restored and when it is restored. Go to Appalachian Electric Power’s website to find out more on this service.
Handley asked Stewart if he’d heard anything about the property where the Philip Sporn Plant sits. Stewart said he had not heard that the company was doing anything with the site at the present time, but other similar sites had been inspected by companies who strip the plants and clean them up for future economic development. Stewart said as of yet, this had not happened at the Philip Sporn site. Handley said with the river and railroad at the site, it remains a prime spot for economic development.
Commissioners, County Clerk Diana Cromley and County Administrator John Gerlach remarked on this week’s ceremony honoring the victims of the Silver Bridge disaster and how well it was done. Doolittle, along with Kenny Grady, Kim Harbour in the county commission office and Tommy Wilson who works for the county were thanked for their parts in helping to put on the event, as was the City of Point Pleasant for its assistance.
“I want to thank the community for coming out,” Doolittle said about the large crowd that attended.
Commissioners also recognized this week’s passing of Charles Lanham. Handley said both Lanham and the late Jack Fruth were two people who got things done in the area and Lanham’s recent passing was a “major loss for the county.”
This was the last regular commission meeting of the year. An organizational meeting will be at 3 p.m., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Present at this week’s meeting, Handley, Doolittle, Epling, Cromley, Gerlach.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.