The Poppy Story

The Poppy Story, by Laura B. Mercer, Girls State 1982

For more than 70 years, red poppies have been worn proudly by Americans to commemorate Memorial Day. I would like to tell you the significance of this flower. From 1914 to 1918, the Battlefields of Europe were trampled by the boots of millions of fighting men. From 1917 to 1918, American troops were part of the Allied Forces, which fought to bring peace to Europe. In Flanders, the only touch of life and beauty they often saw was the wild poppies that bloomed amid the rubble of war. Along the trenches, around the shell craters, and among the barbed wire and wreckage, the little poppies grew and bloomed. The tiny blossoms also covered the graves of American fighting men who had fallen on the battlefield; they soon became a symbol of sacrifice to the living and dead. Mrs. Mercer’s, two brothers

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Nationalist State Primary Results

Governor: Mariah Daffron Secretary of State: Erin Ramsey Auditor: Sonja Harris Treasurer: Sarah Victory Commissioner of Agriculture: Elizabeth Kocsis Attorney General: Caroline Ferrell Justice of the Supreme Court: Erin Guy, Chief; Tori Swihart, Hannah Eshelman, Sophia Shumway, Taylor Graham

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Federalist State Primary Results

Governor: Ava Asbury Secretary of State: Andrea Idler Auditor: Hannah Cummings Treasurer: Hannah Dieffenbaugher Commissioner of Agriculture: Cassandra Stout Attorney General: Devony Workman Justice of the Supreme Court: Rachael Flanagan, Chief; Taylor Miller; Sadie Hackworth; Lauren Hopper; Brooke Ashby

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Girls Nation Senators’ Report

By Taylor Graham, Kanawha Nationalist, & Rachel Moore, Lewis Nationalist

West Virginia’s senators to Girls Nation were Alyssa Bumpus and Jessica Kimble. Senator Jessica Kimble reflected on her time at Girls Nation with tears in her eyes. “Amazing opportunities,” was the first and only two words she could manage to speak before submerging into tears. After Kimble and Alyssa Bumpus were chosen as outstanding citizens, they were put through a rigorous interview process to be eligible for Girls Nation. They impressed the staff and were sent on their way to Girls Nation, just outside of Washington D.C. They were given the opportunity to present a bill, on behalf of handicapped citizens of America. They felt these people did not have the same opportunity to voice their opinions and needs. The bill unanimously passed. As you could imagine, this left the girls with much confidence and pride. During their visit, Kimble and Bumpus visited the Smithsonian

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Country Store Open for Business

By Nicky Hubbard, Northern Panhandle Nationalist

Sharon Glassford, manager of the Country Store, enjoys seeing Rhododendron Girls State citizens throughout the week. Betty Rea, who has worked with the Girls State program for 54 years, serves as Glassford’s assistant. Mrs. Rea also said she enjoys working for the country store and meeting all the citizens from day-to-day. The main Country Store is located on the first floor of Ignatius and sells many items from tee shirts to campaign supplies. They also sell snacks, which seem a favorite of RGS citizens. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable. Another face citizens will see in the Country Store is Paulette Anderson, Banker. In addition to serving RGS citizens as their Banker, Anderson also helps when citizens flood the Country Store. One Girls State citizen was overheard saying, “The country store is a really good thing to have at Girls State.”



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Art Contest Open to Citizens

Inauguration art contest open to all RGS citizens:

All citizens are invited to enter the art contest for the cover of the Inaugural Program, which will be used Thursday, June 16, during Inauguration ceremonies.  The slogan this year will be “Rise Up! Be Your Best You!”

DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 15, at noon. Those entering the contest may submit their entry to the Rhododendron Daily staff in Ignatius Hall.

RULES: Please remember to sign all artwork before submission. Entries drawn on lined paper will not be considered. Participants are also reminded to refrain from using pencil. Entries must include the slogan in the design and art should be the created based on the designer’s interpretation of the slogan.

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2016 – David McKinley

David Bennett McKinley was born in Wheeling in 1947. He attended public schools and worked his way through college graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Civil Engineering.  After college he spent the next 12 years in the construction industry and taught night classes in local technical colleges.

David then established McKinley and Associates – an architectural and engineering company that has grown to include offices in Wheeling and Charleston, WV and Washington, PA. Duringhis career as a Professional Engineer, David has been on the Board of Directors of the state engineering society and on the Board of the National Society of Professional Engineers representing the interests of West Virginia.

As a successful former small businessman, David has created hundreds of jobs and understands the vital role of small businesses in creating private sector jobs and strengthening the economy. He has been recognized twice by West Virginia Executive Magazine

2016 – Shelly Moore Capito

Shelley Moore Capito was elected by the people of West Virginia to the United States Senate in 2014. She is the first female U.S. Senator in West Virginia’s history and was elected with the largest margin of victory for a Republican in state history – winning more than 62 percent of the vote and all 55 counties.

After serving West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, and as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates for four years prior, Shelley decided to run for Senate with the goal of being an even stronger voice for the Mountain State. She also saw an opportunity to restore order to a Senate stuck in gridlock for far too long.

Shelley believes that the challenges of our day demand bipartisan solutions and cooperation across the aisle to advance legislation that benefits West Virginia and the

Guest Speaker – Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Manchin has served in several leadership capacities on various associations, including: Chairman of the National Governors Association, Chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, President of the Council of State Governments, Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association.

Sen. Manchin served as Secretary of State from 2000 to 2004, and his office was known for excellent customer service. He was a state legislator from 1982 to 1996, where he earned a reputation for standing up for West Virginians.

Sen. Manchin became a successful businessman after attending West Virginia University on a football scholarship.

Sen. Manchin is an avid pilot, outdoorsman, hunter, angler and motorcyclist. He has been married for more than four decades to the former Gayle Conelly of Beckley. They have three children: Heather, Joseph IV and Brooke, and are the proud grandparents of Joseph V, Sophie, Kelsey, Madeline, Chloe, Jack,