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Hills take care of their own

Social media can be a force for good, just as much as a vile exchange of the worst words humans can stutter from their fingertips.

But a post on Feb. 12 encapsulates the pride, joy and momentum that we all can take a little time to highlight today.

“When something needs done, and you have trusted others to do it and they fail, leave it up to the hill folk to just do it themselves,” wrote one reader of the Times.

She had shared in the celebration of the first wireless installation for the Southeast Ohio Broadband Cooperative.

Frankly, that post made my heart sing.

In 11 months, volunteers both impacted by and armed with the technical knowledge to do something about the lack of reliable internet in our area had achieved what political promises and $50,000-plus studies never produced.

“Washington County taking care of their own” is what another politician called it.

And he was right.

This community stepped up last fall to disprove the Federal Communications Commission.

This community convinced business owners to back the financial investment of the Washington County Commissioners.

This community told West Virginia to “hold my beer” and produced more than 4,780 speed tests since Sept. 30, 2020.

School superintendents and coaches shared the test with neighbors, families and friends.

Firemen represented their townships.

“I know I have three neighbors that don’t have it because they live 200 yards off of the roadway and [the internet service provider] won’t run the line that far,” said Belpre Township Trustee Asa Boring in October when invited to spread the word.

Boring said the time was now, to fact-check the federal government.

Tuesday, Washington County Commissioner Kevin Ritter said we could wait for another 50 years’ worth of promises and action in Washington D.C., or we could do what these hills do best.

This is a month to be #AppalachianProud because we take care of our own.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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