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Entrepreneurship celebrated as Hamlin hair salon opens
Styles Unlimited Ribbon Cutting
Managing Editor
The Lincoln Journal

HAMLIN - A hair salon, located at the same premises as a previous salon shuttered for a number of years, celebrated its opening last week with a fine turnout of friends, family, and business leaders. Samantha Payton has opened Styles Unlimited at the eastern end of Hamlin, next to Hamlin Subway. The business’ first full day was Thursday, June 1, 2017. An official opening, coordinated in conjunction with the Lincoln Economic Development Authority (EDA), took place Wednesday evening, May 31.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting, Payton spoke of her excitement at taking on the new enterprise. Weeks of preparation and work culminated with the opening. The interior of the business was redecorated in preparation for customers. An array of services are being offered at the business, including hair styling, nails, tanning, and facials. Payton is being joined at the business by several other professional stylists and technicians.

"What we’re really celebrating today is the entrepreneur,”
said LEDA Executive Director Larry Stutler. ​​​​​​​

FoodFair opens in West Hamlin

Managing Editor
The Lincoln Journal

WEST HAMLIN - Bill has joined the FoodFair team; a brief pause will see Hudson’s IGA become FoodFair this coming weekend. The landmark grocery store, which has served decades of customers in Lincoln County, will be closed this coming Sunday, June 11, 2017. It will reopen promptly on Monday, June 12, becoming the latest FoodFair in the region. The West Hamlin location will become the 16th store across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
FoodFair is celebrating its 50th year this year, marking five decades since the first store opened. On July 1, 1967, FoodFair opened its doors as "Tower FoodFair” in Barboursville. Charles Forth availed of the chance to buy the 4,000 square foot premises in Barboursville. Now, 50 years later, the company is ready to open its 16th store, here in Lincoln County. 
"We are a family owned and operated business, spanning three generations,” Forth recently said. "The grocery business has been a passion of the Forth family for over 50 years,” he added. Forth attributed the company’s success to a number of factors. "One of the biggest reasons FoodFair has been so competitive in the market today is its local warehouse distribution center. Today, we are the only food distribution company left in West Virginia. Having a state of the art inventory control system, coupled with an efficient delivery method allows us to pass the savings on to our customers, which has allowed us to be be very competitive,” he told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
President of the company today is Charles Forth’s son, Tim Forth, who urged customers to come and see for themselves the value available. "We have very competitive prices that are lower on many products and items,” he said. He also pointed to the company being ahead of the competition. "We were there first. We’ve been there since 1967,” he said, underscoring customer loyalty. "People still want to shop at a locally owned supermarket, and we can still meet their needs,” he said.
Lincoln Economic Development Authority (EDA) Executive Director Larry Stutler was among those welcoming FoodFair to Lincoln County. "The EDA is excited to welcome FoodFair to Lincoln County. They are without question a first class operation and a top notch corporate citizen. We are beyond proud to have them locate here, and continue to offer our support and assistance,” said Stutler. "I am personally familiar with their entrepreneurial success story and it is quite amazing. The Lincoln EDA further acknowledges and commends the Stowers Group and Lincoln Plaza for continuing to be an economic driver in Lincoln County,” he concluded.

Floodplain Manager of the Year award for Rick Helton
Rick Helton
Managing Editor
The Lincoln Journal

DAVIS - Lincoln County's floodplain manager was recently honored at a major state convention. Floodplain Manager Rick Helton, who also serves as the county's building permit officer, was presented with a special trophy by the West Virginia State Floodplain Managers Association (WVFMA) at the group's annual meeting at Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge. The conference ran from June 13 to June 15, 2016. The presentation was made by Kevin Sneed, West Virginia State Floodplain Management Coordinator. Helton was named West Virginia Floodplain Manager of the Year out of a total of 272 county and municipal floodplain administrators.

According to organizers, Helton's honor reflected his various duties in issuing FEMA designated floodplain building and development permits in Lincoln County, and how he was instrumental in assisting the Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters (VOAD) in leading efforts to rebuild 16 private bridges of the 157 destroyed by floods during the several presidentially declared disasters in 2015. As reported previously in both The Lincoln Journal and Lincoln News Sentinel, each bridge replacement costs between $8,000 and $16,000, with the monies and work entirely derived from volunteers and substantially discounted materials from major suppliers. The effort continues on additional bridges in a prioritized manner.
Lincoln EDA secures $20,000 EDGE grant

Managing Editor
The Lincoln Journal

WEST HAMLIN - The Lincoln Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently secured a $20,000 EDGE (Economic Development Growth Enhancement) grant from Appalachian Power. The utility company awarded $160,000 in grants throughout its service territory in West Virginia and Virginia, with a goal of assisting communities with business recruitment and retention. In all, 11 localities and non-profit entities are to receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. The Lincoln EDA is one of the recipients of the highest awarded amount of $20,000. The program is administered by AEP Economic & Business Development Director John Smolak.
Speaking to The Lincoln Journal, last week, Lincoln EDA Executive Director Larry Stutler welcomed the grant announcement. "We appreciate the confidence that Appalachian Power has shown in our economic future through the awarding of this grant. This grant will allow us to go forward with the Lincoln Economic Summit in the spring, which in turn will form the basis for developing a Comprehensive Economic Development Plan. The plan will combine both an updated needs assessment and a strategy to address those needs," said Stutler. "We’re especially pleased that the Lincoln EDA request was one of only 11 funded throughout the entire Appalachian Power coverage area, and was for the maximum amount of $20,000," he added.
"We received multiple submissions that were outstanding,” Smolak said. "There are a number of programs with enormous potential and we are proud to be a partner in that success.”
President and COO Charles Patton said the EDGE grant program is representative of the company’s commitment to local communities. "Appalachian Power has a dedicated and experienced team of employees who work hard to support the economic development staff and programs in the localities and communities we serve. This program reinforces our commitment to that effort.”
Award winners in West Virginia include:
- Putnam County Development Authority for engineering associated with the expansion of the county’s business park.
- Lincoln County Development Authority for a new economic development strategic planning analysis.
- Advantage Valley Inc. for a new international business development marketing initiative.
- The City of Bluefield for a new economic development website and small business commercialization center.
- The Charleston Area Alliance for a new comprehensive economic development website.
- The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority to support small business entrepreneurial growth and real estate training.
The Lincoln EDA is based in West Hamlin and is governed by a board of directors. Meetings are conducted bi-monthly on the second Tuesday of the month. Unless otherwise notified, all meetings are at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln EDA Office. The board members serve as volunteers and are appointed by the Lincoln County Commission.
Appalachian Power has one million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than five million customers in 11 states.
Goodwill Grand Opening 12-15-15
Goodwill Grand Opening

On December 15, 2015, the 13th Goodwill store in the KYOWVA area officially opened in the Lincoln Plaza in West Hamlin, WV. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by board members President Dwight Coburn, Secretary/Treasurer Evelyn Cartrwight, Rick Helton, Paula Nelson, Zachery Maynard, Ralph Triplett. Also attending was Executive Director Larry Stutler, Administrative Assistant Tabitha Black, West Hamlin Mayor Ferris Burton, Alissa Stewart, Executive Director of Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA​, and Michael Chirico, a representative of Congressman Evan Jenkins. 

Lincoln Economic Development Authority is pleased to welcome Goodwill Industries to West Hamlin. 


Goodwill Opens in West Hamlin

Goodwill will be open on December 4th, in West Hamlin.

Store hours are Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.

The store is located in the Lincoln Plaza: 
10 Lincoln Plaza
West Hamlin, WV 25571


Dwight CoburnLincoln County Native Appointed to State Service Commission
by Governor Tomblin

Contact: Dana Myslinsky, 304-558-0111
CHARLESTON, W.VA. – Native Lincoln County resident Dwight Coburn was appointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to serve as part of a bi-partisan commission on volunteerism and service. Dwight Coburn is currently serving as Executive Director for Southwestern Community Action Council, Inc. located in Huntington, WV. In this position, he directs several programs including Head Start and Weatherization which serve Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties. Coburn serves as a board member on several local boards and is currently the chairman of the Corridor Regional Development Authority and the Lincoln Economic Development Authority. His background in community and economic development suit him as a Governor-appointed representative on the Volunteer West Virginia Commission.

The nation’s 53 governor-appointed commissions administer over $250 million in federal grants annually. State service commissions provide Governors with unique solutions to meet each individual state and local needs. 

Coburn will serve a three year term on the 22 member bipartisan commission. Other recent appointments to the commission include:

·         Susie Nelson, Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, Wheeling, WV

·         Emily S. Fisher, Founder and President of Grow Wings Consulting, LLC, Wheeling, WV

·         Phillip Keith, Executive Director, North Central WV Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc.

·         Andrea Shirey, Executive Director of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley

The Volunteer West Virginia Commission manages West Virginia’s AmeriCorps programs and provides more than 3 million dollars of funding to nonprofits in local communities statewide. Commission programs impact each of West Virginia’s fifty-five counties and support a robust infrastructure of national service and volunteer initiatives that focus on serving veterans, growing our economic, historical and cultural resources, mentoring students, and improving literacy. 

Commissioners are charged with applying for federal grants, distributing funds to subgrantees, overseeing the programmatic and financial health of those grantees, and providing technical assistance and training to current and potential grantees. In addition to this role with AmeriCorps programs, Volunteer West Virginia creates a unified state service plan, houses a disaster services program, organizes an annual statewide conference on volunteerism, and provides support to students, community members and partners to mobilize volunteers. 


A new library on the Guyan
An exciting project is underway beside of Guyan Valley Middle School. The Guyan River Public Library is under construction and is projected to be operational by the end of October; it will replace the present Branchland Outpost Library. This new facility will be a branch of the Hamlin-Lincoln County Library and will be a wonderful asset for the general public as well as for students from local schools. It will include a general area, a children’s section, a computer station area, and a meeting room with kitchenette for library activities and for after-hours meetings by the general public. Funding is available for the construction of the library but not for the furnishings and shelving necessary to make it functional. The Guyan River Public Library Funding Committee has been formed to help secure funds from the general public and businesses to obtain these needed items; committee members are: Sandra Burton, Evelyn Cartwright, Maggie Ellis, Bill Hudson, Jerry Lawson, Sharon Lovejoy, Donna Martin, Sue Ross, Margaret Smith, Ralph Triplett, and David Webb. In the near future, you may see a letter or brochure from the committee more fully explaining the costs of some of the needed items, the floor plan of the library, and the method(s) of donating. The total projected costs for furnishings and shelving is approximately $70,000.
If you would like to donate any amount, you may send a check or money order made out to "Hamlin-Lincoln County Public Library” with the check memo notation of "For Guyan River Public Library” to Hamlin-Lincoln County Public Library, 7999 Lynn Avenue, Hamlin, WV 25523. You may wish to donate an amount to buy a specific item; if so, a plaque with your name will be placed on the item. Also, names of citizens or businesses that donate $500.00 or more will be placed on a prominent plaque inside the library. Cash will also be accepted and receipts provided for all those who request such. Donations are tax deductible. All donations are sincerely appreciated. Examples of specific item costs are as follows: (1) single-faced steel shelving 66”H x 35” W, shelves 12” -$650 a section (for children’s area); (2) double-faced steel shelving 66”H x 35” W, shelves 24” $1100 a section (for children’s area); (3) double-faced steel shelving 90”H x 35” W, shelves 24” $1300 a section (adult area), wooden library chair $215, library table 42”x 42” $600.Library furnishings and shelving are very durable and built to last for many years of usage by the general public and students. If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please contact Library Director Margaret Smith (304-824-5481) or Committee Chair Donna Martin (304-824-3319).

Lincoln EDA to tackle sewer projects

Managing Editor Lincoln Journal

HAMLIN - The Lincoln Economic Development Authority (LEDA) is to take on the coordination of sewer and wastewater treatment projects following a request by the Lincoln County Commission in recent weeks. LEDA Director Larry Stutler spoke at the Thursday, October 2, 2014 regular session of the commission in Hamlin. The director was addressing the commission on separate business, but also took part in the brief discussion on sewer projects and systems countywide.
In recent years, the commission has held preliminary discussions about developing sewer service in the Alum Creek area. This had included exploratory discussions about connecting the community into the South Charleston system with a view to benefiting Corridor G business and development.
Speaking at the October 2 session, Commission President K.K. Matthews confirmed with his colleagues that the commission had not officially engaged with any agency or company regarding the design or planning for the Alum Creek project. He asked that the commission take official action and have the EDA head up the effort.
Commissioner Charles Vance said he agreed with the proposal, but added that it would be worthwhile to include existing sewer projects and operations, possibly with a view to developing five- or 10-year strategic plan for sewer in Lincoln County.
Stutler indicated his willingness to take on the task, but confirmed to the commissioners that he would bring the matter to the Lincoln EDA board of directors first. The authority meets every second month at the Lincoln EDA offices in West Hamlin.
The Lincoln EDA board met Tuesday, November 18. Director Stutler briefed the members on the sewer projects proposal from the commission. The board gave its backing for the EDA to take on the task. According to EDA staff, the board agreed that the EDA will take on the development of a county wide wastewater plan and pursue PSD designation for the establishment of a wastewater treatment plant for the unserved areas of the county.

More Cell Towers in Lincoln County

September 30, 2014: Great news! Yawkey is getting a cell tower.

The County applied for $567,000 for a Yawkey tower. The latest  stage in that process was approved by the state agency today (the  West Virginia Tower Access Assistance Fund (of the Public Service  Commission) today. Construction should be imminent.

The County applied for over $500,000 for a new 400 foot tower at Lincoln  911. That was approved some weeks ago.



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