NITRO, W.Va. --While many would love the opportunity to push the button to demolish the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge, the honor will go to one of Nitro's oldest residents and one of its youngest.
Nitro City Council randomly selected Jessica Taylor from hundreds of applicants from Nitro and Rock Branch elementary schools. Mayor Dave Casebolt originally had the idea to ask a World War II veteran to "pull the switch." He contacted the local VFW, which recommended 92-year-old Thomas "Frosty" Walls, who enlisted in the army the week Pearl Harbor was attacked.
After giving it some thought, Mayor Casebolt and City Recorder Rita Cox decided it also would be a good idea to include a child in the ceremony.
"We thought it would create a precious memory for one child," said Casebolt.
Nine other children were also selected at random to attend the demolition. They are: Anna Taylor, Logan Withrow, Brianne Atkins, Elizabeth Rucker, Jordan Murphy, Holden Barry, Ava Gunter, Aden Cook, and William Craft.
The winners will be announced at the schools this morning.
Taylor and Walls will detonate the explosives at 10 a.m. Friday. The city is waiting for approval from the Division of Highways to hold the ceremony on Hillside Drive. If the location is not approved, the demolition will be held at Roadside Park in St. Albans.
Nitro is also gearing up to launch its new recycling program. Public Works Director AJ Hill said interest in the program is strong.
"Our office receives numerous calls every day," Hill said.
Hill explained that Nitro Public works has collaborated with Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority to provide a collection bin for the public works garage in Nitro.
The bin will be open to the public 8 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, and 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Residents may bring unwanted cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, milk jugs, detergent bottles, and scrap metal to the site.
Items that will not be collected include glass, plastic bags, and Styrofoam food containers.
Mayor Casebolt said that he is very excited about the program and noted that it is a very "cost effective" way for the city to recycle.