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Dancing Her Way To D.C.

July 9, 2011
By Linda Comins - Life Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Valerie Flatley of Wheeling has been selected as the summer dance programming intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The internship is administered by the Kennedy Center's DeVos Institute of Arts Management. According to Kennedy Center officials, this opportunity "provides aspiring arts administrators like Valerie with professional skills, knowledge and experience."

An experienced dancer and performer, Flatley has taught both tap and ballet classes for Oglebay Institute's School of Dance in Wheeling. She is the daughter of U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Patrick and Rose Flatley of Wheeling.

Explaining Flatley's summer role, a DeVos Institute spokesman stated, "As the dance programming intern, Valerie assists in the provision of hospitality and support services to visiting dance companies. She also assists with the production of local dance events on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, serves as assistant company manager for the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and facilitates the Local Dance Commissioning Project."

Flatley is a graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School and is a student at her parents' alma mater, Bethany College, where she is pursuing a degree in history. She is scheduled to graduate from Bethany in May 2012.

This year marks the second exciting summer in a row for Flatley. She served as a 2010 cohort of Bethany's Vira Heinz Scholarship Program for Women in Global Leadership and spent that summer studying French language and politics in Paris.

Glen Dale native and country music star Brad Paisley certainly made a media splash in June. Three major women's magazines - Redbook, Ladies' Home Journal and Good Housekeeping - featured items about Paisley in their June issues.

Ladies' Home Journal listed Paisley's new compact disc, "This Is Country Music," among its "Five Things We're Loving This Month." The magazine item described Paisley's CD as "quirkiness done right," and asked, "How can you not love a guy who convinced Clint Eastwood to whistle on an instrumental track?"

Good Housekeeping also mentioned Paisley's new CD as being "on our radar" on its "good buzz" page. Its writers noted that the singer's latest recording "features duets with other artists we love: Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Don Henley."

Meanwhile, the Glen Dale native is the subject of Redbook's Manifesto one-page feature, with a headline stating, "Brad Paisley has no idea how cute he is." In a question-and-answer format, Paisley answers inquiries about his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and their sons, Huck, 4, and Jasper, 2.

Asked what his sons have taught him about living, he replied, "They've helped me realize how much time I used to waste. They grow so quickly, and if I don't catch every detail on video, I'll miss my chance."

At another point in the interview, Paisley remarked, "Deep down, I'm just a West Virginia hillbilly."

He also told Redbook that his hidden talent is drawing, and that his "tour bus must-have" is Kona coffee from Hawaii.

Just in time for the commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial, legendary West Virginia political figure, historian and author Ken Hechler has written a new book, "Soldier of the Union.

The book, issued by Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., contains several hundred wartime letters written by Hechler's ancestors, George Hechler and John Hechler. Reportedly, the collection provides "a vivid account" of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Some of the letters were printed in a series of articles in The Parkersburg News in 1962, but this is the first time they have been published in their entirety.

According to historians, the Hechler brothers enlisted in Parkersburg, trained at Summersville, camped at the present site of the DuPont plant at Belle and participated in battles at Lewisburg, Antietam, Chickamauga and others. John Hechler was captured at Chickamauga and died in the infamous Confederate prison in Andersonville.

The former congressman and secretary of state will discuss "Soldier of the Union at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History's Archives and History Library in Charleston from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14. The session is free and open to the public.

In addition to his long career in public service, Hechler is the author of eight books, including "The Bridge at Remagen, which was made into a full-length movie.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at:

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