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 www.austinspetsupplies.com.

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 https://thebookplace.beanstack.org/. Visit BCPL’s YouTube channel to find out more: https://youtu.be/96sfoLQLzxc.

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, visitwww.thebookplace.org.

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 www.tristateracer.com. 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 www.thebookplace.org.

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 www.huntingtonymca.org.

Local Web Developer Selected for INTERNATIONAL Advisory Committee

Levi Durfee, Vice President of Web Services at Bulldog Creative, has been selected to sit on the Advisory Committee of the Google Open Source Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. As a part of the committee, Durfee will attend committee meetings and conferences in London and Tokyo in March and April of this year.

Google’s Open Source AMP Project is an open source initiative that came out of discussions between publishers and technology companies about the need to improve the entire mobile content ecosystem for everyone — publishers, consumer platforms, advertisers, creators, and users. The project aims to make the Internet better, faster and more responsive for all.

“Levi has been with us for nearly 8 years and his progress in this field has been outstanding. His skill set assists our clients with many complex web development challenges and he’s being recognized internationally for his work. We’re very proud to call him part of Team Bulldog,” said Chris Michael, CEO of Bulldog.

The AMP Advisory Committee is comprised of 16 accomplished individuals from around the world, including professionals from well-known companies such as eBay, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox Media, Cloudflare, and others. Durfee serves as a representative of small business concerns in the United States.

Bulldog Creative Services is a full-service advertising agency based in Huntington that assists businesses with strategic marketing research and planning, media management, graphic design, audio / visual production and website design, development, and maintenance. More information about the agency can be gained at www.bulldogcreative.com.

The AMP Project is an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all. The project enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms. More information about the project can be gained at www.ampproject.org.

Levi Durfee, Vice President of Web Services at Bulldog Creative
Levi Durfee, Vice President of Web Services at Bulldog Creative

New Pet Supply Store Opening in Ceredo

Ceredo, W.Va., : The City of Ceredo is expanding with the opening of a new pet supply store that will support high-quality foods and treats along with pet-friendly accessories and toys.

Austin’s Pet Supplies plans its grand opening on Saturday, April 6, at its new location at 302 Main St. Suite B in Ceredo across from Tudor’s Biscuit World. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Special activities for the day include pet food samples, refreshments and door prizes.

“We believe in 100 percent of the products we sell and wouldn’t have them in our store if we wouldn’t give them to our own pets,” said Brandon Austin, co-owner of the store.

Brandon and his wife Tori moved from Kentucky to Kenova last year with their family of three pups, Griffey, Gracie, and Chronos. When searching out a local pet supply store, they soon realized the area was desperately lacking.

“We set out on a mission to make it happen,” said Tori Austin, co-owner. “It’s taken a lot of research and love for what we want to do.”

Austin’s Pet Supplies will include brands such as Primal, Zignature, and Fromm foods, Himalayan chews, and Kurgo accessories.

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 https://www.austinspetsupplies.com/.

Bulldog Creative grows with three new hires

Huntington, W.Va., : Bulldog Creative Services, an advertising agency based in Huntington, West Virginia, recently expanded its team with three new employees.

Video Producer Erin Gilleece, Account Executive Peyton Hebb, and Operations Assistant Kay Thomason have joined Team Bulldog adding a plethora of knowledge and talents to the agency.

“You’re always hearing about young talent moving away. We are proud to say we just brought in two extremely talented professionals from the Utah and Arkansas to West Virginia and gave another West Virginian the opportunity to come home. We’ve worked hard to bring in seasoned professionals that are recognized and respected in their fields and translate that into client achievements,” said Chris Michael, CEO of Bulldog.

An award-winning creative video producer and compelling storyteller, Gilleece brings experience in commercial production, documentary film, broadcast television and eCommerce digital media to help Bulldog clients communicate their messages with video. She most recently worked with clients in creating B2B and B2C multimedia video content and previously worked as a videojournalist at an NBC-affiliated television station and an ABC-affiliated television station in Arkansas. Gilleece received a Master of Art in Journalism and Documentary Film from the University of Arkansas where she also received a Bachelor of Art in Journalism.

West Virginia native Hebb will work closely with Bulldog’s clients to coordinate projects and campaigns and will serve as a liaison for clients with the creative, web and production team. She most recently worked in the marketing and advertising field with the Walt Disney World College Program in Orlando, Florida. Prior to her career with Disney, she was as a marketing assistant at both the Marshall Recreation Center and Marshall Artists Series with duties including graphic design, social media, communications campaigns, in addition to guest relations and customer services. Hebb received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Arts and Media at Marshall University.

Thomason, a native of Utah, brings a background in administration and creativity and will assist clients with their billing and support needs. She recently relocated to Huntington from Utah where she worked for the federal government.

Bulldog Creative Services is a full-service advertising agency based in Huntington that assists businesses with strategic marketing research and planning, media management, graphic design, audio / visual production and website design, development, and maintenance. More information about the agency can be gained at www.bulldogcreative.com.

Chesapeake Healthcare Center, LLC Announces Grand Opening of innovative new treatment facility in Chesapeake, WV

Chesapeake, WV – February 16, 2019-Chesapeake Healthcare Center, LLC will host a Grand Opening celebration at their Chesapeake, WV facility on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 2:00PM – 4:00PM with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony scheduled at 2:30PM.  The Chesapeake Healthcare Center, LLC is a business that is owned and operated by West Virginians for West Virginians. The Center will provide internal medicine/primary care, medication assisted treatment, and osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT); which according to Genise Lalos, CEO, “OMT has the potential to be both a tool in the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.”

Lalos reports that, “Clinical trials research demonstrates that when someone has an opioid use disorder and one or more non-substance related health issues, integrated care can be more effective than traditional treatment delivery (i.e., separate, siloed primary care and substance abuse programs) in terms of clinical outcome and cost.  It results in better health outcomes for individuals, in contrast to back-and-forth referrals between behavioral health and primary care offices that result in 80% or more of individuals not receiving care.”  

Lalos has over 20 years of experience working in the field of addiction treatment in WV and she believes that the combination of services that will be offered here can really make a difference in the quality of life for individuals in the region.  According to Lalos, “The opioid crisis is the epidemic of our career and one that has impacted the state of WV profoundly.” The facility opened their addiction treatment program in December 2018 and presently have openings for 275 patients. The primary care and OMT programs open in March 2019 and round out the compliment of health care services designed to help individuals reclaim their life balance.  “Resolving the opioid epidemic in WV will invariably take more solutions than simply getting more physicians to prescribe an opioid blocking medication. The solution lies in a multi-pronged approach designed to manage addiction like the chronic disease it is”, said Lalos.

Children’s PLACE to host holiday pancake breakfast fundraiser

Children in the Tri-State are invited to visit with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed as Santa Claus and Mrs. Clause on Saturday, Dec. 8, during The Magical Holiday Pancake Breakfast, a fundraiser benefiting Children’s PLACE, a non-profit comprehensive child-development center in Huntington.

The enchanting pancake breakfast will be served from 8:15 a.m.to 9:30 a.m. and from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at HIMG and includes a toppings bar, sausage, and choices of milk, coffee, or water. HIMG is located at 5170 U.S. Route 60 East in Huntington.

“We are so excited for the children to meet Mickey and Minnie and enjoy this special holiday breakfast with us,” said Gretchen Palmer, director of Children’s PLACE. “We are grateful to those who participate and help us continue our goal of caring for children in a stimulating and diverse early learning environment.”

A professional photographer will be available for children and parents to take photos with Mickey and Minnie. Photos will be available to download for free at http://www.childrensplacewv.com following the event. Parents also are encouraged to take their own photos.

All proceeds from the event benefit Children’s PLACE by supporting the facility as well as purchasing new equipment and sponsoring activities. In addition to funds raised from ticket sales, those in attendance can purchase raffle tickets for Christmas-themed raffle baskets.

Tickets are $20 for general admission and $12 for ages 4 and under and can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/2qNpMeL or by searching “Magical Holiday Pancake Breakfast” at https://www.eventbrite.com.

Children’s PLACE (Preschool, Learning, Activities Center for Education), Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and offers a stimulating and diverse early learning environment, allowing children the opportunity to learn from their environment while developing valuable academic and life skills. The facility is located at 625 Richmond St. in Huntington.