Try This Awards 55 mini grants
Wednesday, 03 August 2016 00:04

Try This received 79 mini-grant applications and awarded 55 projects totaling $105,600 this year. The projects are diverse and widespread, ranging from a hydroponic system in an Ohio County neighborhood center that will provide fresh produce for its on-site food pantry and hot-meal programs to the start-up of a fishing club and biking club in Boone County which will partner local youth with Police Department mentors.

In Calhoun County, a countywide community team is being formed to organize healthy eating and physical activity programs. In eastern Kanawha County, a team will host a series of community conversations and weekly “chat n chews” around healthy living.

TRY THIS WV is a movement and a mini-grant program to knock WV off the worst health lists, community by community and county by county. This initiative is made up of community and county leaders, doctors, nurses, health advocates, WVU Extension, school, local teams, and many others. So far, 99 local multi-sector teams have completed extensive leadership development and been funded for a real project such as community gardens, walking trail expansions, etc.

The Try This self-funded conference, which attracted over 500 people in its second and third year, has built sustainability into the program. Both Kentucky and North Carolina have reached out to the Try This Steering Committee to replicate the program in their states. The WV Association of Counties is proud to be involved in the program as part of the steering committee.

The Presidents View
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:44


My term as your president comes to a close this month. I want to thank you for electing me to this office and say it has truly been my honor and pleasure to serve.

May is the month of elections, the good, the bad and the ugly. I must commend each of you for running for office in the first place and holding that office as an elected county offi- cial. It is difficult to run when our lives are scrutinized and dissected, our past experience in office is questioned and lies about us are made up and stat- ed as fact. Thank you for hav- ing the big shoulders to bear this in order to help the people in your respective counties.

Will 2016 be remembered for the 17-year cicadas or the grueling election and the startling results in many counties and the State? I feel a great loss for the friends across the state that lost their re-election bids. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you finish out this term of office and into the next challenge of your life. Please come back and see us from time to time. Good Luck to those that decided not to run again or will be retiring. I know you really will not miss those late night, early morning and weekend calls at home for assistance. Government does not work properly without caring and dedicated individuals who only want the best interests of their county and the State. Thank You!!!!

Being the President of the WVACO has been my pleasure and was made much easier with the fine staff, Kathy, Crystal and Jack, and outstanding director, Patti. These individuals are the face of our organization and represent us well daily. I would also like to thank the WVACO Board of Directors. Each of you has taken an active part in your respective Associations and on this Board. Your knowledge, leadership and general good-will have made a lasting impression and enabled change to occur in the governmental processes of this State. Each of your counties has been extremely lucky to have you hold an elected county position and represent them so well. Thank You!!!

My philosophy is to never just sit back, observe and let life pass you by when you can become an active participant and help lead the way into the future.

Thanks again and have a Wild and Wonderful Summer!


Brenda L. Miller, President West Virginia Association of Counties

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:35


It’s time to get your county officials, employees, and citizens to start walking for your county and join the Summer Steps County Challenge, sponsored by WVU Extension Service and the WV Association of Counties! The challenge begins June 1st and runs through August 31st but anyone can join in at any time during the course of the challenge.

In the 2015 Call to Action, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Murthy said,

“Walking for better health may seem simplistic, but sometimes the most important things we can do are also the easiest and the most obvious. It’s time to step it up, America! The journey to better health begins with a single step.”

Taylor County brought home the title in 2015 with more than 25,000 miles logged. Total for all participating counties was 44,000. Previous winners are Monroe, Monongalia, and Wood counties.

Summer Steps is here to encourage each of us, our families, our constituents, and communities to WALK. Let’s make 2016 the year we step it up! It’s as simple as 1 – 2- 3...

1. Sign up at Anyone can jump in at any time during the summer from now through August. When you sign up, you can designate your county.

2. Let others know about it. county_news_service/2016/4/27/take-steps-to-get-healthy-with-the-wvu-extension-service-summer-steps-program

More walkers = more fun and community support for being active together!

3. Every week or so, log your steps on the SS website. If you want to form walking groups, great.

If your county wins the Summer Steps County Challenge, the county will receive a Live Well WV Community Plaque for the courthouse as well as a county walkability study conducted by experts at WVU Extension Service.

Be a Summer Steps advocate. Summer Steps is a flexible program to help each of us with personal health goals. Take a few minutes to sign up and promote this healthy competition. Every step you take improves your life in many ways.

President's View - May 2016
Saturday, 07 May 2016 10:14

April bring May flowers, isn’t that the way it is supposed to work? How are we getting snow at this late date and frosty nights? Is this an April Fool’s trick from above?

Funny, the weather is one thing in our daily lives we have absolutely zero control.

Makes me wonder, what control do we really have in life? Home? Work? We choose to have a home or family. We have our work, how- ever, we have a little thing called an election to win and then the Legislature determines the processes we perform in our duties and any changes thereto. We have our “work” family that we spend more awake hours than our “home” family. Some of our work family we inherited and others we chose. How do we attract the kind of individuals to represent us well in our offices daily .... . like a flowering shrub to attract butterflies or hummingbirds. We have to make a good selection for the best results.

Do we have a clear vision of what we want in our landscaping of our office? Do we surround ourselves with all colorful flowers that compete for their place or leave space for the long-lasting evergreens that have weathered many winters? Sometimes the bright flowers compliment each other more when plant- ed strategically in your garden around the evergreens. We need to make sure the landscaping of our office is functional, represents us well and is planted for many future seasons.

This makes me think of working in my parents’ yard as a kid with my siblings. April 10th was National Siblings Day. I hope you took a few minutes to celebrate the occasion, send a card, phone, post an old photo on social media, text or made a connection somehow to your sibling(s), partner in crime or best friend for life. I always think how different all my siblings turned out, our destinations in life are so different, but we all came from the same place.

All of us as elected officials are at the same destination in life. We have used our control in life to determine the path we would follow through our garden of life. I hope we have all made wise decisions of our selection of flowers and evergreens for our garden so we can enjoy our spring fever, lingering sun- shine and warm breezes of this season.

If would be great if you could join us for a few days, June 5 -7, 2016, for the Spring board meeting in Greenbrier County. Stop and smell the tulips and daffodils for a moment.

Call the WVACO Office for information.

Good Luck to all in this election season!
Brenda L. Miller WVACO President

Saturday, 07 May 2016 10:13


West Virginia’s Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette is very optimistic about the future of Southern West Virginia. “The people here are hard-working and self-sufficient,” Burdette said in southern West Virginia. “They’re passionate about their communities and they don’t want to leave. We have to help them re-invent ourselves.”

Secretary Burdette and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin hosted a community roundtable recently at Chief Logan Lodge. The event “Revitalizing Southern West Virginia” was very well attended and attracted over 200 interested attendees.

The community has suffered much since thousands of miners have been laid off and the mines have closed. “It will never be as it once was, we have to create a
secondary economy. We have to have a level of diversification that will sustain families and give them a future.” Burdette proclaimed.

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