If you happen to be traveling on W.Va. 2 in Glen Dale in the vicinity of John Marshall High School some evening and look to the east you will see something you have never seen there.
That would be a lighted parking lot.
Yes, during the 44 years of the school's existence, that particular area, referred to as the North Parking Lot, has never had lighting until this past week.
Originally, there were a few lights in the perimeter areas, but none in the actual parking lot.
There are now more than 25 light poles.
The switch for the new lights was turned on Tuesday, and now those attending events at the Center for the Performing Arts, the gymnasium and the school itself will be better able to locate their vehicles.
The installation of the lights is part of the major renovation project to be undertaken at the school. In fact, it is the first of several security improvements.
The state School Building Authority, which is funding a portion of the $28 million renovation, gave its approval for the lighting. The number of lights, the positioning of the light poles, etc., are to SBA regulations.
In addition to the lighting of the actual parking area, new lighting has been installed along parking lot's entire perimeter, and for the first time the roadway exiting the school complex onto W.Va. 2 is also lighted.
Now that the the lighting is in place, the next step will be to resurface the parking lot and line off the parking spaces.
As to the lights, they will be operational from dusk to dawn. Superintendent of Schools Mike Hince said they are such that the amount of lighting can be controlled with the lights turned on brighter when an event is taking place.
He said the lights will be dimmed in areas near the residential areas.
The next step dealing with the parking lot will be resurfacing, which is expected to take place in March.
While on the subject of schools, Hince this past Monday sent to each school, along with the transportation and maintenance departments, a preliminary school calendar proposal for the 2014-15 school year.
Each school and the two departments have been requested by Hince to return to him by Feb. 1, their thoughts on the proposal, including any recommendations.
For the past couple of years the school system has been operating on two different calendars, but it is anticipated that for the upcoming year it will be back to one schedule.
Once the calendars have been returned to the superintendent, he and his staff will review any comments. The public will have an opportunity to voice opinions before members of the Board of Education vote on the calendar that must be adopted by May 1.
And yet another school issue, as at Tuesday's board meeting 16 employees - professional and service personnel - submitted resignations to take effect June 30.
There have been several resignations already accepted in the past couple of months, and there will probably be more received at the next few meetings.
The retirees receive a bonus for submitting their resignations early, thus making it easier for their positions to be filled in preparation for next year's school year.
Included in the most recent resignations were 12 teachers, two custodians, one cook and one bus garage mechanic.
Teachers Sharon Auber, Sand Hill Elementary; Brenda Blaney, second grade Hilltop Elementary; Mark Coffield, auto mechanics instructor at John Marshall; Ray Dague, special education teacher at John Marshall; Lois Elias, social studies, John Marshall; Joseph Kochalka, Spanish teacher at Moundsville Middle; Rosanna Latacz, first grade teacher at Hilltop Elementary; Marjorie Massey, first grade teacher at McNinch Primary; Charlotte Nadolski, sixth grade teacher at Moundsville Middle; Peggy Niebergall, second grade teacher at Hilltop Elementary; Mary Tennant, fifth grade teacher at Center McMechen Elementary; Katherine Vani, third grade teacher at Center McMechen.
Also, Georgette Ledbetter, custodian at John Marshall; Timmy Stout, custodian at Moundsville Middle, Vicki Winland, cook at Glen Dale Elementary; and Thomas Zuk, bus garage mechanic.
The "Something Special Group" at Simpson United Methodist Church was organized 38 years ago by Carolyn Dalzell, and this information along with other data was included by a group of her friends who in 2011 nominated Dalzell for the Wheeling YWCA "Tribute to Women" honor which she and five others received.
Bonnie Anderson said Dalzell, who passed away on Jan. 9, was involved in many local community "behind the scenes" activities. Anderson said, "She was an inspiration to other people and made a difference in her community."
According to Anderson, Dalzell was a volunteer for Special Olympics, a past group leader of the Girl Scouts, a former member of the West Virginia Girl Scout Board of Trustees, served on the first Advisory Council of CASA (through YWCA) of Marshall County, was on the Board of Directors of Appalachian Outreach, and served as a volunteer for various fund raisers.
In addition, she was an employee of Wheeling Jesuit University from 1973 until 2003, where she was instrumental in carrying out numerous programs.
The first committee meeting to plan for the ninth annual Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Home & Business Exo was held this past week.
Stanley Stewart is again the chair, with other committee members at the present time being Linda Miller, Rick Courts, Susie Inclan and Chamber Executive Dave Knuth.
The Expo will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Feb. 28, and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on March 1 at the Training Center within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville.
The committee discussed potential primary and co-sponsors for the Expo, selected the food vendor for the event, along with the organization to be in charge of parking.
As to parking, vehicles permitted to park inside the walls will be those that have handicap stickers. There will be shuttle service from parking areas from adjoining streets.
The Pirate Parrot will provide entertainment from 6-7 p.m. on Feb. 28, with arrangements being made for additional entertainment on March 1.
The commitee's next meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Feb. 1 at the Chamber Office.
Grand Vue Park will be sponsoring a Prom Fashion Show, to be held beginning at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Park Banquet Hall.
For more information on the event, call the park at 304-845-9810, extension 401.