Huntington In Bloom brightens city during COVID-19 pandemic

Every spring, the streets of Huntington come alive with bright flower pots and hanging baskets lining the streets of downtown. This year, while the ‘how’ and ‘when’ may have changed, the streets will still be filled with blooming flowers once again. 

Huntington in Bloom plans to start planting flowers again the first week of June but due to the ongoing pandemic, and the risk of volunteers contracting the virus in a group setting, volunteers will not be used to plant this year. Instead, two local landscaping businesses have stepped up to complete the work.

“The Huntington in Bloom tradition brightens Huntington every year,” said Mayor Steve Williams. “During such a difficult time to many – this is a simple way to uplift spirits and show that we are and will be open for business.”

Also, for the second year, Goodwill Industries has agreed to provide watering services. A new watering truck was purchased prior to the pandemic and will eventually be wrapped in the HIB logo.

Due to the closure of so many downtown businesses, and the number of people in the community affected by COVID-19, the “Adopt a Pot” fundraiser has been canceled this year, but donations are always accepted on our website www.huntingtoninbloom.org. 

Huntington in Bloom (HIB) is part of the City of Huntington, West Virginia and a fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community. A local volunteer organization, HIB was founded in 2013 to improve the quality of life in Huntington, promote community involvement and unity, and identify opportunities for improvement. HIB is responsible for the city’s year-round, seasonal decorations.

Kilmer’s Farm Market impacting Lives

Thousands of West Virginia children are receiving nutritious meals while school buildings are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the efforts of a local business owner.

Derek Kilmer, owner of Kilmer’s Farm Market at Inwood, West Virginia, delivers meal boxes to children in 10 counties in the northern part of the state. His work is part of a statewide effort to serve 1.4 million meals to children each week during the crisis in partnership with the West Virginia Public School System.

“With schools closed due to the pandemic, I had fruit spoiling and little need for my employees,” he said. “An updated business model made it possible to deliver complete meals to children who may otherwise go hungry.”

Kilmer received a Payroll Protection Program loan with the help of CNB Bank that allowed him to keep his workforce intact. The program is designed to help small businesses keep their workers employed during the coronavirus outbreak. The loans from the Small Business Association will be forgiven if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

“CNB Bank is fortunate to be in a position to help people when they need it most,” said Mark Harrell, President and CEO of CNB Bank. “Not only are people keeping their jobs but the added benefit in this case is that thousands of children in West Virginia can look forward to complete meals thanks to Kilmer’s Farm Market.”

CNB Bank is a full-service bank with assets over $420 million dollars. CNB Bank has eight locations including Berkeley County and Morgan County, West Virginia and Hagerstown and Hancock, MD. CNB Bank is a locally owned community bank serving the Tri-State area and has been committed to its communities for over 85 years. Being a community bank allows CNB to make decisions locally to better serve the residents and businesses of the region.

3-D printing face masks

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Information Technology faculty are 3-D printing face masks to help with the shortage of PPE for healthcare workers. The effort is in conjunction with the West Virginia National Guard’s ongoing work to supply masks.

“We are doing all we can to help in this effort, and to help fight this pandemic,” Rick Thompson, Professor of Information Technology at Southern, said. “We are just now ramping up our production and hope to supply as many of these masks as we can, given that we’re a smaller college.”

Southern’s two 3-D printers are working around the clock to produce masks based on a prototype provided by the West Virginia National Guard, with five more printers coming online soon.

For more information on Southern’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our website at https://www.southernwv.edu/coronavirus/

Enforcement of Stay-At-Home Order

Mayor Steve Williams is reminding community members that, along with complaints of nonessential businesses, the Huntington Police Department will respond to and investigate complaints of large social gatherings that are in violation of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s executive stay-at-home order.
“This is a crucial time when every single individual in our community plays a vital role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic,” Williams said. “That means staying at home and following the proper social distancing recommendations if you and/or your family members leave your home for any of the permitted purposes in Gov. Justice’s order. We simply are not going to tolerate blatant disregard for the order. Doing so creates a pubic health hazard and not only places our community at risk, but it places at risk all of our health care professionals and first responders.
“The Huntington Police Department will enforce the order on any large social gatherings that are outside its scope to the fullest extent of the law, including the issuance of citations or arrests if necessary.”
Gov. Justice’s order states that “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order (view the order in its entirety at https://governor.wv.gov). Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence.”
Anyone who would like to report a complaint about a large social gathering or nonessential business that is still operating is advised to call 911.​