New marketing director at BrightStar

VIENNA, W.Va. – Robin E. Yarzab has joined BrightStar Care of the Mid-Ohio Valley as its marketing director. Robin spent her childhood years in Marietta; is the daughter of the late Edward Yarzab, 1951 graduate of Marietta College and Mary W. Yarzab-Miller, 1947 graduate of Marietta High School.

Yarzab obtained a degree in community health education from the University of Northern Colorado and enjoyed a successful career in the State of Colorado representing the fields of home health care, assisted living and long-term care. Yarzab is excited to incorporate her 20-plus years of experience in community outreach and education to enable BrightStar Care to be the provider of choice in home care for the Mid-Ohio Valley.

BrightStar Care of the Mid-Ohio Valley is a joint commission accredited home care provider.

Local Applebee’s helps raise $46K in support of MDA

Neighborhood Hospitality, Inc., an Applebee’s franchise group that owns the restaurant in Marietta, delivered a $46,000 check in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign.

For the second year in a row, NHI’s 23 Applebee’s locations and their guests have raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, bringing the groups two year total to more than $92,000.

“It’s an honor to support an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children,” Mike Baldwin, vice president of operations for Neighborhood Hospitality, Inc., said. “This program has made a meaningful impact two years in a row, and we couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated staff and generous guests.”

The MDA Shamrocks campaign – started in 1982 in Grand Rapids, Mich., and taken nationally a year later – raises funds to support MDA’s fight against muscular dystrophy and related diseases, including its programs of research, services, advocacy and education. The program benefits MDA’s nationwide network of some 200 medical clinics, and it helps send thousands of children with muscle diseases to a week of accessible fun at MDA summer camp.

Participating restaurants included Applebee’s in Bluefield, Va.; Athens; New Boston, Ohio; Marietta; St. Clairsville; Steubenville; Zanesville; Ashland, Ky.; Pikeville, Ky.; Hazard, Ky.; Beckley, W.Va.; Princeton, W.Va.; Barboursville, W.Va.; Huntington, W.Va.; Summersville, W.Va.; Hurricane, W.Va.; Elkins, W.Va.; Clarksburg, W.Va.; Vienna, W.Va.; Lewisburg, W.Va.; Tridelphia, W.V.; and locations in Charleston, W.Va. at Kanawha Mall and Dudley Farms Lane.

Local CVB will have training sessions for I Heart Campaign

The Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is implementing a new campaign aimed at developing and demonstrating a consistent customer service standard across the local tourism industry.

The “I Heart Campaign” will kick off with three training sessions held on April 29, May 27 and June 24. One or two representatives from businesses and organizations dealing in the local tourism industry may participate in each session. That representative will be responsible for conveying the information back to their frontline staff.

According to Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta-Washington County CVB, the overall goal is to provide an organized and unified customer service to tourists visiting the area.

The key method of accomplishing this will be the “I Heart” badges that participants will wear. Badges will display an activity or interest that each staff member is passionate about.

Knowlton stated that the “I Heart” badges are a great way for the frontline staff to connect with the tourist and enhance their experience. “One of the first questions workers will always get from visitors is what is there to do in town,” said Knowlton. “The badges are a fun way to start that discussion and will hopefully make it easier for visitors to find information on activities they are interested in,” said Knowlton.

Any business or community member interested in participating in the I Heart Campaign may contact the CVB at 740-373-5178 for more details.

Training sessions:

  • April 29, 9-11 a.m. at Comfort Suites.
  • May 27, 2-4 p.m. at Campus Martius Museum.
  • June 24, 7-9 p.m. at Muskingum Park.

Farmer and rancher disaster assistance programs available

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, re-established and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, which began April 15.

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Enrollment also began April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary.

ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices. Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.

For more information contact Daniel O. Shockey, County Executive Director at 304-422-9072. Producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, LIP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit Mill Run Farm Service Agency.

From local reports


Electric co-op observes Lineman Appreciation Day

Washington Electric Cooperative Inc. is recognizing April 18, 2014 as National Lineman Appreciation Day to honor the hardworking men and women who work often in challenging conditions to keep the power on.

The co-op is recognizing all electric linemen for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to keep the power on and protect the public’s safety.

“Electric linemen do not often receive the recognition they deserve,” said Ken Schilling, general manager/CEO. “They work all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions far from their families, going above and beyond to restore power to their communities. Our linemen, as well as linemen from all across the nation, truly deserve this special day of recognition.”

Washington Electric invites members to take a moment to thank a lineman for the work they do. Use #ThankaLineman to show support.

Washington Electric is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative serving portions of six counties in southeastern Ohio. It is headquartered in Marietta.

Tourism discussion Tuesday at Prime

The Marietta-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau after hours event, Tourism PM, returns Tuesday, April 22, at Prime Steak and Seafood located inside the Comfort Inn. Those who attend have the chance to interact with leaders, strategize to create new business opportunities and discuss tourism news and information.

Tourism PM locations for the remainder of the year include Spagna’s Italian Restaurant on, Comfort Suites, The Galley and Campus Martius Museum.

Anyone interested in registering for the free event, contact the Marietta-Washington County CVB at (740) 373-5178.

Stonewall earns

5 marketing awards

Stonewall, an integrated marketing firm based in Marietta, recently earned five American Advertising Awards.

Presented by the West Virginia chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the awards ceremony took place in Charleston (W.Va.) at the Embassy Suites and honored the year’s best advertising work within the market.

Stonewall’s award collection consisted of work for digital and print campaigns for the following clients – Adventures on the Gorge, Ohio Valley University, Tucker County CVB, and WV Dept. of Commerce.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the AAF for our work. The projects were each compelling, entertaining, and effective in telling the story for each client’s needs. This is a wonderful highlight to our year,” said Kari Thompson, Stonewall vice president-director of public relations.

Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the awards are the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition. The local awards are the first of a three-tier, national competition. At the second tier, local winners compete against other winners in one of 15 district competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national American Advertising Awards competition.

Winter was tough on DuPont’s bottom line

DOVER, Del. – DuPont’s agricultural sales suffered and its operating costs rose during extensive winter storms that dragged on first-quarter earnings, although volumes increased in the company’s industrial segments and profit margins improved in almost every one of them.

The Wilmington, Del., chemical maker reported net income Thursday of $1.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That’s down from $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share, for the same quarter a year ago, which included a one-time gain from completion of the sale of DuPont’s performance coatings unit.

Excluding one-time items, DuPont reported operating earnings of $1.58 per share, up from $1.56 per share on an adjusted basis in last year’s first quarter, but slightly below the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.59 per share.

Sales declined 3 percent to $10.1 billion for the quarter, mainly due to differences in timing and planted area for agriculture sales, negative currency impact, and adverse weather conditions in North America. Analysts were expecting revenue of $10.4 billion.

“We delivered near record earnings per share despite the challenges of harsh weather and differences in year-on-year comparisons in our agriculture segment, and our key initiatives remain on track,” said CEO Ellen Kullman.

The company reaffirmed its outlook for full-year operating earnings of $4.20 to $4.45 per share, compared to $3.88 per share last year, based on anticipated growth in global industrial market demand.

From local, wire reports


Bed tax revenue up so far this year

Transient guest tax collections received for March 2014 were recently released by the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau showing revenues at over $38,684; an increase of almost 31 percent from the same time last year.

January and February bed tax revenue also increased from 2013, showing a 2 and 10 percent bump respectively. Overall first quarter bed tax collections totaled around $93,384 for 2014 as compared to $81,060 in 2013.

The positive trends are expected to continue as the CVB moves into the travel seasons of spring and summer.

According to Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta-Washington County CVB, the area is expecting a strong season. “People are in the mood to travel. We are seeing positive indicators that there will be growth this season, especially as we move into spring and summer.”

Cash dividend for Settlers Bank firm

The board of directors of Third Street Bancshares (parent company of Settlers Bank) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.34 per common share on March 24 representing a 3.03 percent increase over last year’s first quarter dividend.

“The board is proud to continue our history of paying dividends. This would not be possible without the strong support of the community. Fifteen years ago this bank was founded on the premise that a true community bank was needed in our community,” said Jim Meagle, Third Street Bancshares’ chairman of the board. Settlers Bank President and CEO Donn Schafer added, “The future is bright for Settlers Bank and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers and our community. Our customers know they can count on us to deal with their banking needs in professional manner while maintaining that personal touch only a community bank can offer.”

Settlers Bank is a community bank that offers a full line of financial products and services.

Google to sell Glass to bigger pool

SAN FRANCISCO – A lot more people are about to get a chance to buy Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear that has become the hottest accessory in geek fashion.

Google will sell the “Explorer” version of Glass to any U.S. resident who places an online order for the device beginning at 9 a.m. PDT April 15. The product will cost $1,500, the same price that Google Inc. has charged for Glass since sales of the device began last year, the company said Thursday.

The April 15 sale will take place at . Google isn’t saying how many sets of Glass will be available during the limited-time offer.

It marks the first time that Google has made Glass available to consumers without providing them special access. More than 10,000 sets of Glass have been sold to a select group of developers, contest winners and other invitees.

This version of Glass, though, still isn’t the polished product that Google hopes to release in stores later this year. Although it hasn’t provided specifics, Google has indicated that the mass-market version of Glass will sell for less than $1,500. Google is expected to provide more details about its Glass plans at its annual developers’ conference in late June.

From local, wire reports