Training Program for Women Completes 7th Class

The Step Up for Women Advanced Manufacturing Program has just completed its seventh successful cohort. The vocational training program has run two classes per year since its first in the summer of 2016. Dozens of women have gone through the training and found employment in local manufacturing companies.

Melinda Perron, Program Coordinator for Step Up, is pleased with how well the graduates have done. “It was nerve-wracking to run the first class back in 2016. No one knew how the class would go – this was the very first manufacturing pre-apprenticeship for women in the county. Thankfully, almost all of my students have found jobs and moved up in their careers. I’m getting to see these women go from depending on government benefits to buying their own homes.”

The class, which runs out of the Robert C. Byrd Institute on 4th Avenue in Huntington, cycles students through manual and CNC machining, shop math, manufacturing blueprint reading, and employment soft skills. The women in the program are not charged any tuition – grants and scholarships pay for the classes. There are no income limits or residency requirements either. Students often travel from Kentucky or Ohio.

Graduate income averages over $12 per hour starting wage with regular increases. Some local companies pay as much as $17 per hour for new hires. Jobs are 40 or more hours per week usually with benefits like medical and retirement. Women from 18 to 60 have been successful in the program, and Perron encourages women of color, veterans, and other minority groups to apply.

Step Up is a program of West Virginia non-profit focused on helping women become financially secure. Anyone interested in the class can apply at or call 304-528-9991 for an application.

Austin’s Pet Supplies plans ribbon cutting, giveway

To celebrate a successful first six months in business, Austin’s Pet Supplies is planning a ribbon cutting with the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, along with giving away free chances to win a basket of customers’ favorite products and items valued at $250.

Austin’s Pet Supplies opened its doors on April 6 in downtown Ceredo with a mission to supply healthy, high-quality pet foods and treats close to home. Their following has grown to include customers from throughout the Tri-State area and their products have changed according to customers’ wants and needs.

“We couldn’t have done this without support from our customers,” said Brandon Austin, co-owner of Austin’s Pet Supplies. “We hope they will come and help us celebrate the past six months.”

Austin’s Pet Supplies recently extended business hours to accommodate customers’ needs. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the store will be closed on Sundays. The store also offers free local delivery, grooming services, and self-bathing facilities complete with shampoo, towels and dryers.

Austin’s Pet Supplies is a pet supply store based in Ceredo, West Virginia, that offers high-quality pet foods, treats, toys and accessories. Products, specials, and information can be found at and follow them on Facebook at @austinspetsupplies. Austin’s Pet Supplies – Your Partners in Pethood!

ATI Training Home Inspection Institute is Offering Local Training Courses

September 7th-15th, 2019, West Virginia –The All American Training Institute (ATI Training) is excited to announce a Home Inspection Training Course in West Virginia.

“Our team is excited to bring this extensive Home Inspector Training Course to West Virginia. The average salary for a home inspector in the state of West Virginia is $43,710 per year. Those who enroll in our course will be set for a stable and rewarding career!” says Amy Newcomer, ATI Training Co-Founder

About the All American Training Institute

ATI Training was created to offer students a one-stop-shop to jump-start their career as a home inspector. The goal was to create a training program that offered superior training and a support network. ATI Training has done just that for many students over the years and is the nationwide leader in home inspector training. Training is offered in all 50 states and includes both classroom and in-field training. This course work leaves new home inspectors feeling qualified, not just certified.

Huntington Y receives Gatorade Play It Forward grant

The Huntington Y was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from the 2018-2019 Gatorade West Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year, and St. Joseph High School graduate, McKenzie Moran. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants so they can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefits.

“We are honored McKenzie chose the Huntington YMCA for this grant,” said Brian Byrd, executive operations officer of the Huntington Y. “This grant will help our mission of strengthening our community and its families and creating a positive environment for our kids to grow and learn.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year is an athletic award program that annually recognizes student-athletes for outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character. In existence for more than 30 years, the prestigious award has honored several sports icons including Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns and Derek Jeter.

“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field,” said Amanda Turak, assistant marketing manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “The grant gives these athletes a chance to donate to organizations like the Huntington YMCA that positively impact the youth in their own communities.”

Sports have seen a double-digit decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets in communities, but young people that participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier and better students. Through the Gatorade Play It Forward program, all 607 Gatorade Player of the Year award winners select a youth sports organization that will receive a $1,000 grant to help the next generation of athletes benefit from sports.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Help deployed troops through Operation Soldier Care with Fast Change

Join Fast Change Lube and Oil in supporting and honoring deployed military personnel this summer by sending them care packages as an expression of appreciation and gratitude.

Operation Soldier Care 2019 begins July 1 with 100 percent of the money collected benefitting troops. With the support of the communities surrounding the Fast Change locations, more than $50,000 has been raised to date.

“Operation Soldier Care helps show our support for the military by providing them with items they may not be able to easily get while deployed,” said Fast Change President Kevin Davis. “We owe them our gratitude and respect and this program is our way of showing that.”

In addition to monetary donations, approved items can be dropped off at any Fast Change location. Find a location at

The following items have been approved for sending through this program which continues through September:

Gift Items

  • Puzzle books
  • Travel games
  • Hair bands/ties
  • Small Nerf balls
  • Hacky sacks
  • Playing cards
  • Bibles (pocket size) 

Drink Items

  • Coffee
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Powdered drink mix for bottled water
  • Tea bags

Snack Items

  • Hard candy
  • Chex Mix
  • Chewing gum
  • Twizzlers
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Beef jerky
  • Snack bars
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Slim Jim’s
  • Popcorn

Personal Care Items

  • Baby wipes (no tubs)
  • Nasal saline spray
  • Tissues (pocket size)
  • Lip balm
  • Eye drops
  • Foot powder
  • Socks
  • Vaseline
  • Boot insoles
  • Lens cleaning wipes
  • Q-Tips
  • Travel size: shampoo, lotion, and hand sanitizer (alcohol-free)

Established in 1994, Fast Change Oil and Lube has grown throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia while striving to be the best place anywhere our customers can go for an oil change or other preventative maintenance services. With more than 20 locations and growing, Fast Change promises to treat customers with professionalism and respect, to operate with integrity and dependability, and to deliver excellence at a fair price.

YMCA statement regarding arrest of staff member

At the YMCA of Huntington, the safety and well-being of our members, participants, and staff is a top priority. We are troubled by the recent arrest of and charges facing one of our employees. Due to the charges against him, his employment has been suspended without pay. We are deeply saddened by the alleged actions, and our thoughts are with the alleged victims.

The alleged incidents took place away from our facility and in no way involved or put at-risk children in our care.

A full criminal background check and reference check was performed on this staff member at the time of his hire, and he did not have any previous arrests or areas of concern. However, in light of this incident, we are reviewing our hiring, monitoring and training policies to ensure that YMCA of Huntington is utilizing industry-best practices and that we continue to serve Huntington and the Tri-State area with distinction and pride, as we have for more than 134 years.

The YMCA of Huntington is fully supporting the Huntington Police Department during its investigation and will continue to do so. Because there is an ongoing investigation, all questions about the alleged incidents should be directed to the Huntington Police Department.

The YMCA of Huntington is a people-focused organization committed to enriching lives and strengthening communities. Our actions are guided by our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. These values call us to treat our employees – and all people – with compassion, fairness, and dignity.

Austin’s Pet Supplies offers delivery, pickup services

The new pet supply store in Ceredo that brings you high-quality pet food, treats and toys is now offering free delivery and pet pickup for grooming services.

Customers can simply call the store at (304) 606-2959 to arrange for product delivery to their home (within a 10-mile radius) and for pickup of their pet for grooming. These services are ideal for pet owners who cannot get out due to illness or injury or do not have transportation to the store.

“We love our customers and want to continue to provide the services they are asking for and need,” said Brandon Austin who owns the store with his wife Tori.

Customers will find a variety of high-quality and budget-friendly pet foods, treats, toys and boutique items at Austin’s Pet Supplies along with knowledgeable owners who can help with the best selection for your pet.

Austin’s Pet Supplies is a pet supply store based in Ceredo, West Virginia, that offers high-quality pet foods, treats, toys and accessories. Products, specials, and information can be found at

Summer Reading to blast off at Boyd County Public Library

Readers of all ages are invited to explore a Universe of Stories – Endless Possibilities this summer as part of Boyd County Public Library’s summer reading program. Starting June 1, the Ashland, Catlettsburg and Kyova branches will host free weekly fun and educational space-themed programs where participants will record reading time for prizes.

“Studies show the children experience learning losses in the summer when they are not engaged in educational activities,” said Debbie Cosper, director of the Boyd County Public Library. “The library’s summer reading program helps combat that problem while treating kids to exciting and fun events and prizes for their efforts.”

Activities include parties with inflatables, Kona Ice and music, a teen lock-in and a screening of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” as part of Pictures in the Park and Ashland Central Park. The space-themed weekly events encourage participants to learn while having fun.

Registration begins May 1 at all branches and online at Visit BCPL’s YouTube channel to find out more:

The mission of Boyd County Public Library is to provide quality resources and access to information for the community. The library has locations in Ashland (1740 Central Ave.), Catlettsburg (2704 Louisa Street) and at the Kyova Mall. For more information,

Love Your Library 5k registration under way

Registration is open for Boyd County Public Library’s annual 5K run/walk scheduled Friday, April 26.

Now in its 7th year, the Love Your Library 5K is unique in that its goal is not to raise money, but rather to bring awareness of the many services that Boyd County Public Library makes available to the community.

“It’s exciting to see that so many people support our library,” said Debbie Cosper, director of the Boyd County Public Library. “A strong library helps create a strong community and with their support, our community is helping us grow our services.”

The event will take place Boyd County Public Library main branch at 1740 Central Ave. in Ashland and features a 1.25-mile walk beginning at 6 p.m. with the 5K starting at 7 p.m. Trophies will be awarded to the first two overall male and female 5K finishers and first three finishers in each male and female age group (14 age groups overall). All participants will receive an official race T-shirt and a BCPL swag bag.

To register, visit any Boyd County Public Library location or go to The mission of Boyd County Public Library is to provide quality resources and access to information for the community. The library has locations in Ashland (1740 Central Ave.), Catlettsburg (2704 Louisa Street) and at the Kyova Mall. For more information, visit

Healthy Kids Day

The Phil Cline Family Y Wants to Awaken Summer Imagination at Annual Healthy Kids Day®

Event encourages kids to stay active and keep learning all summer long

On Saturday, April 27th, the Phil Cline Family Y is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to ignite children’s imaginations so that they can imagine what they’ll accomplish this summer. The event features activities such as: Kids in Motion obstacle course, arts and crafts and more to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home throughout the summer months.

Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 Ys across the country by over one million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long.  When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.

“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” says Misty Byars, Phil Cline Family Y Child Care Director. “We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. A child’s development is never on vacation and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer,” said Mike Callanan, Huntington YMCA Senior Wellness Director.

Keeping Kids Healthy All Summer Long

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:

High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.

  • Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
  • Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
  • Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
  • Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.

The Phil Cline Family Y’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at the Phil Cline Family Y, 917 9th Street, Huntington, WV from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and features fun, active play and educational activities, such as, MU Forensic (youth fingerprinting), Cabell County Library, Robert C Byrd Institute STEM, WV American Water, Cabell County Health Department, NECCO, United Way, Dr. Jason Moore, Med Express, LINK, St. Mary’s Tips, Elite Performance Academy, Master Kim Tae Kwon Do and..  There will also be a drawing for a Huntington YMCA Family Summer Membership, Massage and Personal Training Session.

Batman will be our special guest from 11 AM to 12 PM.

Howard Johnson wants to ensure that kids have their best summer ever and is the proud national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day.

Locally, Healthy Kids Day food, gift certificates and prize donations are sponsor by Jewelry Gold and Pawn (prize donations), Camden Park, Ashland Foodfair, Pita Pit, Davis’s Place, SYSCO, McDonald’s, Heiner’s, Olive Garden, Gino’s and Jim’s Spaghetti.

For more information, contact the Phil Cline Family Y at (304) 697-7113 or visit