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Quick takes

OPERATOR OF THE YEAR:

Bruce Snider has been chosen as Ohio Rural Water’s Operator of the Year.

A 1977 graduate of Wintersville High School, Snider started at the village of Wintersville’s Water and Wastewater Departments that fall as a meter reader and laborer. In July 1997, Snider took over operations for the Wintersville Water and Wastewater Departments, running the water department for five years. He served as the operator of record for Mingo Junction’s wastewater treatment facility for two years and is the operator of record for numerous small privately owned treatment facilities in the Ohio River valley.

Snider is an avid outdoorsman and wildlife conservationist. He and his wife of 38 years are the parents of two daughters and have eight grandchildren. Already retired once, he is proud of his 40-plus years of service.

WORKSHOP PLANNED:

Food Service Health Inspections: Food Safety and Quality will be the topic of the next Lunch and Learn Workshop at Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz.

The workshop will be held beginning at noon on Jan. 9 in the hospital’s cafeteria.

Erika Battistel and Jade Brown of the Harrison County Health Department will discuss what food inspectors look for and investigate.

The workshops are held on the first Thursday of each month and are free to the public. Attendees can bring their own lunch or purchase on in the cafeteria. A snack and beverage will be provided. Reservations are not needed.

The hospital is a division of Wheeling Hospital.

Double spending: JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit development corporation, will double its annual spending down the road on loans and grants, the group’s director told the board in a quarterly meeting.

JobsOhio normally spends around $150 million a year, but that will rise to about $300 million, J.P. Nauseef said at the board’s recent quarterly meeting in Youngstown, according to Gongwer News Service.

JobsOhio also plans to grow beyond its traditional focus on advanced manufacturing, the automotive sector and technology, Nauseef said. That could include retaining and expanding the state’s federal workforce, an effort expected to cost $3-5 million a year.

The organization also has a goal of doubling the number of graduates with in-demand degrees in science, technology, engineering and math over the next five to 10 years, he said. That could involve a $75-150 million investment over five years.

MINER KILLED: A West Virginia coal miner died while working at a Murray Energy mine, Gov. Jim Justice’s office said Tuesday.

Raymond Leonard Starkey Jr., 21, of New Martinsville, was fatally injured Monday while helping to repair a beltline at the Marshall County Coal Company Mine near Cameron, Justice’s office said in a news release.

“This is especially devastating news to learn on Christmas Eve, but we know that West Virginians will come together during this tragedy and surround his family with love and support,” Justice and first lady Cathy Justice said in the statement.

Eugene White, director of the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety, and Training, went to the scene, the release said.

There have been 11 coal mining deaths nationally this year, including four in West Virginia.

ONLINE SALES SOAR: More people did their shopping online this year during one of the shortest holiday shopping seasons in years, helping to push total sales higher.

Retail sales in the U.S. rose 3.4 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 compared with last year, according to early data from Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Online sales rose at a faster pace, up 18.8 percent from last year. Online shopping made up nearly 15 percent of total retail sales.

From staff and wire reports

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