WI Gets Ready to Celebrate 100th Birthday

With just three weeks left until the 100th birthday celebration of our alma mater, more than 300 former students and spouses from across the USA are packing their bags to come home to join in the festivities.
The self-appointed committee of former grads continue to meet and iron out details for the celebration which includes a self-guided tour of the school; the 15th annual WI Alumni covered-dish picnic, reservations for which are not required; a banquet dinner at Robert C. Byrd High School where attendees will have an opportunity to view the “WI memorabilia room”; and a presentation in the school’s theater which will feature Al Cox, the “Voice of the Hilltoppers”, as master of ceremonies.
Also slated for the evening’s program are music by Benji DeFazio, who attended WI Middle School; a performance by the WI Middle School Show Choir; and video of the school’s history by Tim Cork, recognition of Mr. and Mrs. Washington Irving, i.e., the oldest graduates (male and female) in attendance; a tribute to veterans; and a special tribute to one person deemed to have had an influence on students across more decades than perhaps any other.
Although reservations for the banquet are closed, you can still take the tour, attend the picnic and the theater program.  Please bring a covered dish for the picnic.
Plans for a Wall of Fame were scuttled due to the lack of submissions.
In addition to these activities, a number of classes have scheduled get-togethers for the weekend.  Among them is the Class of 1959 who will gather at the home of classmate Larry Martino on Friday evening, August 22. 
The seed for the birthday celebration was sown by retired Washington Irving Middle School principal, Tom Tucker.  As some of our readers will recall, a group of Clarksburg WI graduates got together in October 2013 to work on an event.  A June date was chosen; however, that date met with a number of obstacles including very few responses to the initial inquiry for reservations. 
Rather than cancel the event entirely, 1959 grads Joy Gregoire DeFazio and Carolyn Pinella Warne suggested that the birthday celebration be combined with the Annual WIHS Picnic which is now in its 15th year.  Others in attendance - Jim Campbell, Brad and Sharon Underwood, Tom and Donna Elsey and Coach Al Castellana – agreed. 
The picnic, started in 1999 by DeFazio and Phyllis Fittro Brown (Class of ’59) and spearheaded 2003-2013 by Sharyn Cottrill McGahan (Class of ’59), has been a successful annual event.  Members of that class including Paula Brasseur Riley, Ronnie and Jeanne Werner and Becky Werner, Charles Burkhammer, Roleta Smith Meredith, Judy Daugherty Kimler, Brown, Warne and DeFazio have continued to help along with some members of other classes. 
With the date now settled upon, more meetings were arranged and publicity began to be distributed.  Out of these meetings came the final working committee for the celebration.  In addition to Campbell, Castellana, DeFazio and Warne, and the Underwoods and the Elseys, Jerry Reed, Mike Fresa, Ellen Colvin Condron, Mary Rose Axton, and former principal Sam Scalapio completed the loosely woven committee.  
Campbell, who had already volunteered to provide music for the celebration, gave permission to use his WI Reunion post office box, PO Box 411, Clarksburg, WV 26301, as the mailing address for the celebration. Reed was named treasurer with Fresa being his second on the checking account. 
 Information about the upcoming celebration has been distributed not only through this newsletter, but also by the website,; Facebook page Washington Irving School Centennial Celebration, Clarksburg, WV; and articles in local newspapers. 
There’s an old saying, “It’s all over but the shouting!”  While that is not quite true, a lot of work has been done. . . but a lot is yet to be done before we gather together on August 23rd in Clarksburg, WV.  Hope to see you there!

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 31, 2014 EST

American Legion to Hold Shinnston Meetings to Address Local VA Concerns

The City of Shinnston will be hosting meetings for an organization whose purpose is to help veterans get access to medical care. The meetings come in the wake of a recent federal audit that claimed Clarksburg’s Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center had long delays.
Veterans from Bridgeport, Harrison County and throughout West Virginia use the facility.  Those that use the facility and that have concerns can got to the meetings being hosted by the American Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force. The first meeting is Monday, August 4, at American Legion Post 31 on 76 Bridge St. in Shinnston. A Veterans Crisis Command Center will also be set up from August 5-6 at Post 31.
The August 4 meeting is open to the general public and local veterans are encouraged to attend, especially those affected by wait-time delays.
Click HERE to read the complete story from

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 30, 2014 EST

Johnson Elementary Releases Beginning of the School Year Information

Johnson Elementary School Assistant Principal Heather Holbert has released the following beginning-of-the-year information for students who will be attending during the 2014-15 calendar year:
Class Placements - Class placement postcards will be mailed home to all students by the beginning of next week.  The cards will list each student’s homeroom teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. 
Kindergarten Information - Kindergarten-specific information will be mailed home this week. 
- August 7, Kindergarten Parent Meeting and Classroom Visit Sign-Ups (no students), 6:00 PM – 7 p.m.
- August 11 or August 12, Kindergarten Classroom Visits (by appointment), between 3:00 PM and 6 p.m.
- August 13, School-wide Open House for Grades K-5 with PTA-sponsored food and activities, 3:00 PM – 6 p.m.
- August 14, First Day of School, full day of instruction
*All events will take place at the school.
If you have further questions or seek more information, call 304-326-7109.

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 30, 2014 EST

BHS Marching Band Selling "Pride of the Tribe" Flags

Orders are currently being for “Pride of the Tribe” miniature flags, a fundraiser for the BHS Marching Band. The cost is $20 per flag. Orders can be placed through any marching band member or at the BHS band room between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. week days through Friday, Aug. 8. Orders can also be placed by contacting Lula Malenich at 304-641-5608 or Proceeds from the sale will help the band meet its significant annual budget, which includes uniform and travel costs, among other expenses.
Ads for the BHS football program can also be purchased at this time. Contact Malenich for details.
The BHS Marching Band is currently practicing for the upcoming football season. Band Camp is being held on the BHS grounds. Read more HERE

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 30, 2014 EST

Woodman Announces Falcon Fantasy Camp

Fairmont State head football coach Jason Woodman is pleased to announce the 1st Annual “Falcon Fantasy Camp,” on August 15-16 at Duvall-Rosier Field.

“I’d like to personally invite you to come out and be apart of our coaching staff for two days during summer camp,” said Woodman. “The camp will give you the opportunity to get an in-depth look at both our offensive and defensive philosophies, attend meetings with our players, and view our coaching style first hand."

“I believe this camp will give you a better understanding of what we do and what it really takes to run a successful football program,” Woodman continued.

The date of this year’s camp will be August 15-16, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 15. The camp will conclude on Saturday, August 16, following the first “live contact” practice session of the year.

The cost of the camp is $500 and is limited to the first 25 participants.
Print and return the attached registration form <>  to Chad Fowler, 1201 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554-2470. Please make checks payable to Fairmont State Friends of Football. Payment will also be accepted at registration. 

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 29, 2014 EST

Stonewall Resort to Host Make-A-Wish Golf Tournament

Stonewall Resort will host a golf outing on the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course on Monday, Aug. 4 to help raise funds for the Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia chapter of Make-A-Wish®, resort officials announced.  Golfers interested in participating in this 11th annual event are encouraged to enter the tournament.
Leslea Gillum, golf shop manager at Stonewall Resort, said, “There are many children in our region suffering from life threatening medical conditions.  Stonewall Resort wants to help provide a life-changing experience for these kids and we know Make-A-Wish does this on a daily basis.”
Gillum said this event will help children like Brandon, a 17-year-old from Randolph County who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. Brandon loves to play video games, especially the game Lego City. He also loves to spend time building Lego creations. When wish-granting volunteers met with Brandon, he knew he wanted his wish to revolve around his love of Lego toys. Make-A-Wish will help Brandon visit Lego Land in California this June with his family.
“It would be great to see some new and familiar faces here to make this wish come true for Brandon and the other wish children the organization serves,” Gillum said.
The event begins with a lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the tournament – which will be played in a four-person golf scramble format – begins at 1:00 p.m.
Those interested in participating can sponsor a team at $440 (four person team), sponsor both a team and a hole at $565, or – for those unable to attend – sponsor a hole for $125. 
For additional information, contact Stonewall Resort’s golf shop at (304) 269-8885. 

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 29, 2014 EST

New Student Registration Scheduled for Bridgeport High School Tuesday, Friday

Bridgeport High School Principal Mark DeFazio has announced that new student registration for the 2014-15 school year will be held Tuesday at the high school. The registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 3 p.m.
However, individuals simply cannot just show up. They need to make an appointment and can do so today through 3 p.m. and can also call tomorrow to set up an appointment the same day. Individuals need to call 304-326-7126 or 304-326-7136 today before 3 p.m. or during the day tomorrow to arrange an appointment.
A second new student registration day will be held Friday, August 1. Those wanting to make an appointment that day can call that day at 304-326-7137. The registration time is the same as Tuesday.
“This is for any student that has moved to the area regardless of what grade they will be in,” DeFazio said. “This is not for freshmen students already in the system.”
DeFazio said it will be helpful if parents have transcripts, or even report cards, from the last school they attended. He also said vaccine records are important. If parents do not have those items, DeFazio encouraged parents and guardians to go ahead and schedule a registration appointment regardless.
“The biggest thing is to get enrolled and we can tell them what they need to if they do not have specific items,” said DeFazio.
The students need to accompany their parent or guardian to the registration. The registration is being done to help the transition to the first day of school for students – August 14 – go as smoothly as possible.

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 28, 2014 EST

"The Million Dollar Man" Coming to Shinnston for Frontier Days

World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase has agreed to appear at Frontier Days in Shinnston this September. 
DiBiase will be replacing Roddy Piper, who had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict. 
DiBiase will be making several appearances as part of the Frontier Days festivities, says Community Development Director Reuben Perdue.
“We are disappointed in Piper’s cancellation, but we are very excited to be able to bring in another Hall of Famer and the community will see a lot of Ted DiBiase.  We’re trying to set up a speaking appearance before the Lincoln Cougars’ homecoming game September 26th.  Ted will be in the Frontier Days parade Saturday September 27th and then will wrestle on the APWA show at the festival that night.  Finally, on Sunday, September 28th, DiBiase will be speaking to a local church. “ 
DiBiase rose to fame as “The Million Dollar Man” and had a famous feud with Hulk Hogan.  He has performed in the main events at two WrestleMania shows as well as Summerslam.  DiBiase is now an ordained minister and uses professional wrestling as a way to spread his positive message among children and parents alike.  

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 28, 2014 EST

BHS Grad Among Four to Receive Scholarships, Honors from Fairmont State

The Fairmont State University School of Business honored the following Harrison County students for their academic achievement with scholarships and awards at the end of the spring 2014 semester.
Justine Maxey of Bridgeport received the Louis Schoolnic Endowed Scholarship. A 2012 graduate of Bridgeport High School, she is the daughter of James and Bridget Maxey. An Accounting and Finance major, she is a member of the Student Accounting Society and Delta Mu Delta, the international honor society for Business Administration. She is a financial reporting intern at PDC Energy.
Derek Efaw received the Dream, Succeed & Lead Award. A 2007 graduate of Canon McMillian High School in Canonsburg, Pa., he is the son of Timothy Efaw and Cynthia Eddy. He and his wife Crystal reside in Clarksburg with their children, Hialey, Katie and Alex. An Accounting major, he is a member of Delta Mu Delta, international society for Business Administration, and is treasurer of the Student Accounting Society.
Evan Ferrell received the Stanley and Mary Beafore Scholarship and the Frank and Florene Sansalone Scholarship. He is a 2011 graduate of Robert C. Byrd High School and is majoring in General Business. The son of Kevin and Beth Ferrell of Clarksburg, he hopes to open his own photography studio and is currently a freelance photographer.
Ashley Lowe of Clarksburg received the Glenn A. Harman Accounting Excellence Scholarship and the George E. Lambert Family Endowed Fund for Education. A 2011 graduate of Liberty High School, she is the daughter of Phillip D. and Cindy L. Cox of Clarksburg. Majoring in Accounting and Finance, she is vice president of the Honors Program. She is also a peer mentor for the School of Business and volunteers with Campus Visitation Day and freshman Honors scheduling for Orientation. This summer she is a member of the FSU Orientation Team.

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 23, 2014 EST

Bridgeport Restaurant to Open “Alfresco” Dining Patio

There’s a new option for outdoor eating and drinking in the neighborhood—the region’s first and only coal-fired pizzeria, trattoria and wine bar, Mia Margherita has announced the grand opening of their “alfresco” dining patio.
The Charles Pointe restaurant, which opened last fall, will open a new 70-seat patio area on Monday, just in time for Bridgeport Restaurant & Jazz Week: July 21-26.
“We're excited to be able to now offer "al fresco" dining. This expanded outdoor option allows diners to enjoy the same great menu and cocktail options offered inside Mia Margherita,” said Scott Duarte, the owner/operating manager at the restaurant.
The Grand Opening of the outdoor patio will feature complimentary appetizers and live music by Nat Fredrick from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.
The restaurant will also launch their three course for $30 menu that evening to coincide with Bridgeport Restaurant & Jazz Week. Trattoria and Pizzeria options will be available.
The restaurant was recently named the “New Business of the Year” by the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. To contact them, call 304-808-6400.
Their business hours are as follows:
Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

by Connect-Bridgeport Staff on July 19, 2014 EST