A half-century ago, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, which inspired Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr. to form the Rocket Boys in Coalwood, W.Va.
Hickam went on to become an aerospace engineer.
Now his successors may come out of South Charleston High, where students hope to launch a satellite of their own, which will rise nearly 20 miles above Earth.
Science teacher Joe Oliver and local businessman and
engineer Jeff Imel are pushing the project. This is a college-level task that has challenged all 1,100 students at South Charleston, including English and physics classes.
"This is where learning becomes fun," Oliver told the Daily Mail's Shay Maunz. "There's so much to learn, and I love the challenge . . . I just feed off of that, and the students feed off of it."
Here is hoping the satellite fares better than Hickam's first rocket, which exploded and destroyed his mother's fence.
Failure is a big part of science, but that is how one learns. Hickam eventually wound up at NASA.
Kudos to Oliver, Imel and the staff at South Charleston for trying to create the next generation of Hickams.
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THE countdown for the rebuilt Dick Henderson Bridge is now at six, as the state prepares for a ceremony at noon on Friday to reopen the span that links Nitro and St. Albans.
This should help businesses on both sides of the river, which lost customers as traffic veered away.
Expanding the bridge to three lanes cost $23.6 million. But instead of building everything new, the state improved the piers and foundation and replaced the two-lane deck with three lanes.
This cut the cost in half.
Workers beat the original deadline by a week.
In recent years, the state has built the Buffalo bridge, re-decked the Winfield bridge and made the South Charleston-Dunbar interstate connection eight lanes, as well as refurbishing the Eugene Carter Bridge on the interstate in Charleston.
Good highways that provide safe and reliable transport of people and goods are fundamental to the economy. The Division of Highways and its contractors have given Kanawha and Putnam counties four excellent bridges that should last well into this century.
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EVERY two years, the state of West Virginia holds primary elections in May and a general election in November.
The question has been why municipalities in the state continue to hold city and town elections in off years. By doing so, cities and towns have to foot the expense themselves.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is leading the effort to have municipalities save money by piggybacking local elections onto state elections.
Charleston City Council unanimously approved moving to the state elections beginning in 2018.
Dave Rucker recently asked St. Albans City Council to do the same thing. That makes sense.
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THE driver of a car that struck and injured a pedestrian Monday on Pennsylvania Avenue in