Contenting a series of stories recounting the events of 2004 from the December 31, 2004 edition of the Princeton Times; the Mercer County Schools Summer Writing Camp at Princeton High School saw students expose themselves to poetry, plays and other literature including a visit by McDowell County playwright Jean Battlo.

The Mercer County Board of Health discussed punitive measures against people who violated the property maintenance ordinances set up last year.

The Athens-Concord Town Social on the front lawn of CU on Aug. 8 saw Robert Whittinghill, Alice James Moore, Alvis Construction , Rosalie Peck and

Pastors from Princeton Church of God, Burke Memorial Baptist Church and the Princeton Praise and Worship Center talked about the changes stemming from their relocation. The Princeton Presbyterian Church celebrated its 150th anniversary on Aug. 5.

Capts. Burl and Carrie LaBatte were named to take over the Mercer County Salvation Army, replacing a/Capts. Bob and Sandra Mullins, who were transferred.

Princeton Rescue Squad Administrator Don Meadows announced his resignation from his position for undisclosed reasons.

The start of the 2004-05 school year saw the Mercer County school system, CU, BSC and Bluefield College talk about their plans. Former teachers, staff and students of Bramwell School moved to new schools as they remembered their old one Local principals offered advice for parents in getting their kids ready for school. The Governor’s Summer Institute Program for teachers was held at PikeView High School. Mercer County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debbie Akers received a $349,694 check from the U.S. Department of Education’s "No Child Left Behind" program. Mercer County suffered another decrease in school enrollment, continuing a pattern of drop-offs in all but one year since 1990-91.

The Princeton Public Library’s Summer Reading Program culminated with Children’s Reading Program Coordinator, PPL Director Connie Clay, WVVA-TV news anchor Carrie Baldwin and Elise Cowgill, the daughter of the manager of the Princeton Bob Evans store, get hit in the face with pies after the students exceeded 3,000 books read. The next week, Gore announced his resignation in order to pursue further education.

The Drama Camp 2004 was held at Princeton Middle School with a play by Bramwell resident Louise Stoker titled "The Perils of Pepper" as the feature presentation. The play was directed by State Senator Anita Skeens Caldwell (D-Mercer), a drama teacher in the Mercer County school system, and was based on a series of "Shelter Lady" columns by BDT State Editor Barbara Hawkins.

The Princeton Times was recognized by the West Virginia Press Association with 17 total awards, 10 first place recognitions, in the WVPA’s "Better Newspaper Contest".

A new coffeehouse, the Spare Oom, opened in the Calvary Chapel on Highland Avenue, with contemporary Christian music, opened on Aug. 6.

A new cultural attraction, Culturefest 2004, was held at the Princeton City Park on Aug. 21. The event, organized by Princeton resident Lori McKinney, brought a variety of acts together in a fundraiser for the Mathena Center.

Three members of Boy Scout Troop No. 1 in Princeton, Dustin Buchanan, William Hardy III and Shawn LaMothe, received their Eagle Scout badges in a ceremony at Princeton Advent Christian Church.

Princeton golfer Norman Adkins was invited to participate for the fifth time in the DuPont World Amateur Handicap Golf Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Princeton Dance Studio students Katelyn Ramsey and Abbey Stafford received recognition at the Myrtle Beach "Stars of Tomorrow" dance competition.

Folklore ways of predicting weather from foliage thickness to wooly worms were featured in a story.

Melrose Elementary School was the target of an unknown vandal or vandals during Labor Day Weekend. Said vandals spilled paint and milk on floors and objects, overturned cabinets and did other damage.

Local residents discussed plans for Labor Day Weekend, including vacations and resting at home.

Princeton photographer Steve Jessee, owner of Associated Photography in Princeton, was recognized with a Masters of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers of America.

The aftereffects of Hurricane Frances dumped 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain on Princeton and Mercer County causing some flooding, but not as bad as first feared.

The potential for development in the New Hope Road area of Princeton was a featured story in mid-September.

Two Princeton High School stories, one on the PHS Marching Band, and the other on the suspension of the "Tiger TV" program pending the hiring of a full-time instructor, ran in the Sept. 10 paper.

PCH Infection Control Occupational Health Coordination Cynthia Belcher discussed the new recommendations for pneumonia vaccine. Among the recommendations were shots for "high risk" groups (people over 65 or who are taking drugs that reduce resistance to education) should get the shot.

PVHS Social Studies Instructor Paul Hodges, Jr. was honored by Phi Delta Kappa and Wal-Mart as West Virginia Teacher of the Year.

Robert Monoham was appointed as Homeland Security Planner for Mercer County by the Mercer County Commission. Monoham, a retired career military veteran, was given responsibility to coordinate local resources in accordance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security standards. The Commission also approved the purchase of two ambulances for the Princeton Rescue Squad.

Local musician Arnold Palmer said he was hoping to get actor, comedian and educator Bill Cosby to visit Princeton some time in the future.

The Annual Pam Hawkins Walk-A-Thon was set for Sept. 28. The Hawkins Foundation worked with the family of Juston Thacker in organizing the event and a foundation in the latter’s memory.

A fundraising event to benefit families of National Guardsmen sent overseas was held at Bent Mountain Resort outside of Athens.

Local fire departments received decontamination equipment with the cooperation of PCH. HEALTHSOUTH and Bluefield Regional Medical Center. The equipment included decontamination tents.

Judy McKinney of Rock, whose son is a U.S. Navy medical corpsman serving in the Persian Gulf, began a campaign to send equipment to the USMC’s 3rd Battalion, 6th Division.

Princeton Primary School students raised $6,784 in the state "Hoops for Heart" campaign set up by the American Heart Association. The campaign involved raising money through a number of basketball-related activities.

The proposed project to extend the life of the Mercer County Landfill by 25 to 50 years through sludge conversion was the subject of a feasibility study which was scheduled for completion in December.

A concert at the Planet Xtreme Teen Center (the former Gilbert Activity Center) drew more than 160 teenagers to the building in September.

To comment of this column, write to the Princeton Times, c/o Mercer County Memories, P.O. Box 1199, Princeton, WV, 24740 or e-mail or If you have pictures you wish to share, we'd like to use them with the stories. Please make copies and send them to us. If you want to send original photographs and wish them returned, send a SASE. We look forward to your submissions and ideas.

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