The Best of West Virginia Awards 2013
The votes are in! Readers from all corners of the state have weighed in on their favorite eateries and entertainment venues, celebrities and care providers, shopping spots and scenic escapes.
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Community & People
photographed by nikki bowman | shutterstock
BEST LOCAL PHARMACY
Loop Pharmacy and Home Medical
In 1984, Bill McFarland opened a pharmacy with a plan that was a little different. He wanted to take comprehensive, compassionate care one step further by compounding medication, or making it from scratch. This gave him many unique advantages—offering tablets in liquid form, covering bitter tastes, honoring prescriptions for discontinued medication. Loop is the only pharmacy in the area certified for compounding, and that coupled with personal attention to detail makes them a local favorite.72 6th Avenue, St. Albans, WV 25177; 304.727.2233; looppharmacy.com
BEST LOCAL RADIO STATION
Whether you catch The Kevin Connoley Show in the morning, Katie Richter in the afternoon, Lacy Neff in the evening, or Jason Knight at night, tuning in to WVAQ means hearing the hottest hits with hosts who feel like friends. WVAQ was selected as a Contemporary Hits Radio/Top 40 Station of the Year in 2007 and 2009 by the National Association of Broadcasters.1251 Earl L. Core Road, Morgantown, WV 26505; 304.296.0029; wvaq.com
BEST LOCAL TV NEWS
WSAZ has been broadcasting for more than 60 years, starting in 1949 when television was a new format. Back then, WSAZ only offered local programming—think local residents singing and dancing. Since 1951, they have been offering the quality news residents of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio expect. The station’s come a long way since the beginning, when there were only a few hundred TV sets in the area, to their modern broadcasts in high definition to viewers in 33 counties.645 Fifth Avenue, Huntington, WV 25701; 304.697.4780; wsaz.com
The Charleston Gazette
For more than 100 years, The Charleston Gazette, the state’s largest daily newspaper, has been the state’s leading voice on everything from current affairs to politics to business to sports. Publisher and President Elizabeth Chilton says, “We try to earn this sort of respect by covering all topics important to West Virginians, and by crusading constantly for humane efforts to improve life for average families.”1001 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301; 800.982.6397; wvgazette.com
BEST WEST VIRGINIAN
Robert C. Byrd
Highways, schools, research facilities, scholarships—across the state, these and more bear the name of Robert C. Byrd, the late senator who represented West Virginia with a fiery passion for more than half a century. His faithful advocacy resulted in more than a billion dollars of federal funding poured into the infrastructure of the state. His death in 2010 felt like a personal loss to many West Virginians.
Arguably the most beautiful ambassador West Virginia has ever had, actress Jennifer Garner is an ardent advocate of her home state. She frequently mentions her love for West Virginia —she sang the state song on Conan O’Brien’s show—and Charleston locals are used to seeing her at the shops and restaurants on Capitol Street. In July 2013, she was sighted with hubby Ben Affleck celebrating their anniversary with Pies & Pints and Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream.
BEST HOSPITAL - It's a Tie
Charleston Area Medical Center
It’s no surprise the state’s two largest health systems were neck-and-neck in readers’ votes. The Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Health System is the largest health system in the state, with 838 beds between its three hospitals—CAMC General Hospital, CAMC Memorial Hospital, and CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital. It is home to one of the largest heart programs in the country, the only kidney transplant center in the state, and the highest volume trauma center in the area.3200 MacCorkle Avenue SE Charleston, WV 25304; 304.388.5432; camc.org
Ruby Memorial Hospital
Nearly 30,000 patients from across the state receive care at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown each year. This year, the largest of the WVU Hospitals celebrates its 25th anniversary as well as its designation as #1 hospital in the state by U.S. News & World Report. Ruby Memorial was also recognized for high performance in 12 specialties, including cancer, cardiology, pulmonology, and neurology.1 Medical Center Drive Morgantown, WV 26506; 304.598.4000; wvuhealthcare.com