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WVU Medicine East Berkeley Medical Center Launches da Vinci robotic surgery program WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center...
12/13/2019

WVU Medicine East Berkeley Medical Center Launches da Vinci robotic surgery program

WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, has acquired a new da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System, further advancing the technology available to surgery patients in our region.

The development of this program allows for minimally invasive surgery options for many common large-incision surgeries. The da Vinci robot has several unique features designed to enhance patient experience and reduce recovery times.

Robotic surgery, in the hands of a skilled surgeon, can perform complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible via conventional surgery. Because robotic surgery requires minimal incisions, patients heal faster with fewer complications resulting in a quick return to a normal family and work life schedule.

The first procedure on the da Vinci Xi at Berkeley Medical Center, a hernia repair, took place on Nov.19. It was completed by Mazin Shackour, M.D., general surgeon. Since that time, Dr. Shackour has been performing several procedures each week using the robot.

The da Vinci system, offered by Intuitive Surgical Inc., consists of several key components, including an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart where the patient is positioned during surgery, interactive robotic arms, a 3D HD vision system, and wristed instruments.

While the da Vinci is currently being used at Berkeley Medical Center for various general surgery procedures, hospital officials are planning to expand its service offerings in the near future to include urological, gynecological, and thoracic procedures as more providers are trained to use the da Vinci robot.

(Picture: The da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System is shown housed in one of the new operating rooms at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center.)

Gil Narro Garcia Featured Artist at Evolve Shepherdstown THIS WEEKEND This weekend will be an ideal time to look for a b...
12/13/2019

Gil Narro Garcia Featured Artist at Evolve Shepherdstown THIS WEEKEND

This weekend will be an ideal time to look for a beautiful gift for someone, or yourself.

Evolve Shepherdstown (106 W. German St., Shepherdstown) is featuring the artistic work of Gil Narro Garcia (Holiday pop-up featuring artist Gil Narro Garcia).

Garcia is a well-known artist from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Among the works for sale will be dinner plates, table napkins, wall art, and window art and pillows.

All of the work is one-of-a-kind and copyrighted, including the limited edition images.

You can view his work at www.dinnerandnature.com.

The exhibit will be TODAY, Saturday, and Sunday, December, from 10am-5pm.

In this month's issue, writer David Gignilliat provided an intimate portrait of one of Jefferson County's more recogniza...
12/12/2019
Charles Town Comes to Terms with the Loss of Justice Taylor - The Observer

In this month's issue, writer David Gignilliat provided an intimate portrait of one of Jefferson County's more recognizable homeless citizens, the late Justice Taylor.

The piece pulls back the curtain on an often-unseen layer of modern life in small-town America – frequently hidden in plain sight – as well as the local services that advocate for this community.

Read more here:

In the early hours on October 5, as the morning sun emerged through the clouds on an overcast fall day, the body of Justice Taylor was found in the loading area at the rear of Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM) on West Washington Street. Slumped in his wheelchair, it was a harsh end to a ....

A Night of Comedy Supporting Clean WaterJoin West Virginia Rivers Coalition at Abolitionist Ale Works (129 W. Washington...
12/12/2019

A Night of Comedy Supporting Clean Water

Join West Virginia Rivers Coalition at Abolitionist Ale Works (129 W. Washington St., Charles Town, West Virginia) THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, December 18, for a night of stand-up comedy: Comedy w/ Robert Mac (Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing).

Ten percent of proceeds will be donated to WV Rivers to support clean water and wild public lands in West Virginia.

Robert Mac is best known as the Grand Prize Winner of Comedy Central's national "Laugh Riots" competition, and for his appearances on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and NBC's "Last Comic Standing." Show starts at 7pm, tickets $12 ONLINE and $15 AT THE DOOR.

Find out more by calling 304-886-2665 or email [email protected]. And purchase tickets right here: http://abolitionistaleworks.com/merchandise.asp?fbclid=IwAR36Tb8LOndRDiLCF6zspus9Sm6-Wx5Y65psyU5McYG-mlA3XKJuvNEuiCU

We featured Observer contributor, Lena Camilletti's, continued efforts to pursue both a career in media and confront the...
12/11/2019
Observer Contributor Co-Develops Memorial Site for Opioid Victims - The Observer

We featured Observer contributor, Lena Camilletti's, continued efforts to pursue both a career in media and confront the substance-abuse epidemic in this month's issue.

We've spotlighted All Our Hearts here before, but this piece drills down on Camilletti's motivation, process, and team – in bringing this extremely impactful endeavor to the forefront of the conversation on a national level.

Read more about it here:

If you or someone you love has lost someone to the opioid crisis, then it’s worth your while to check out “All Our Hearts“—an online memorial project developed in part by Observer contributor and Jefferson County native Lena Camilletti. The site not only memorializes victims, but it allows e...

2nd-Annual Shepherdstown Tour of Historic Churches Set for December 26Sponsored by the Shepherdstown Historic Commission...
12/11/2019
Holiday Blessing: Shepherdstown Boasts Tour of Historic Churches - The Observer

2nd-Annual Shepherdstown Tour of Historic Churches Set for December 26

Sponsored by the Shepherdstown Historic Commission, the Shepherdstown Visitors Center, and the Shepherdstown Community Club, the 2nd-Annual Shepherdstown Tour of Historic Churches is set for Thursday, December 26, from 2-6pm.

Bells of the participating churches, as well as those of Shepherd University's McMurran Hall, will all ring out to celebrate the opening of the tour.

The self-guided, non-religious walking tour will take about two hours, focusing on history and architecture, and all churches (still decorated for the holidays) will have greeters and docents on hand.

The War Memorial Building (102 E. German St., Shepherdstown) will serve as tour headquarters, where visitors can pick up maps and enjoy refreshments.

All of the churches on the tour are in downtown Shepherdstown—including: Christ Reformed Church, Trinity Episcopal, New Street United Methodist, St. Peter’s Lutheran, Shepherdstown Presbyterian, and St. Agnes Catholic.

Find out more from our November issue right here: https://wearetheobserver.com/holiday-blessing-shepherdstown-boasts-tour-of-historic-churches/

Bells will be ringing in Shepherdstown on the day after Christmas. Jerry Bock and Bruce Massey of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission announce the Second-Annual “Shepherdstown Tour of Historic Churches”—to be held on Thursday, December 26, from 2-6pm. Bells of the participating churches, as ...

We featured Cathy Kunkel (Kunkel for Congress) in this month's issue – spotlighting her candidacy for West Virginia's se...
12/10/2019
Kunkel Endeavoring to Challenge Both Establishment and Mooney in Bid for U.S. House Seat - The Observer

We featured Cathy Kunkel (Kunkel for Congress) in this month's issue – spotlighting her candidacy for West Virginia's second Congressional district in the U.S. House.

Kunkel is running as a Democrat, and, if she secures the nomination, will challenge Congressman Alex Mooney (R-West Virginia) in November 2020.

Read all about this up-and-coming candidate right here:

Earlier this year, Cathy Kunkel announced her candidacy for West Virginia’s second Congressional district in the U.S. House—running as a Democrat, and, if she secures the nomination, challenging Congressman Alex Mooney (R-West Virginia) in November 2020. Kunkel, who earned a bachelor’s degree ...

Claymont Mansion to Host Holiday Open-House TourCharles Town, West Virginia's Claymont Mansion (577 Claymont Mansion Rd....
12/09/2019

Claymont Mansion to Host Holiday Open-House Tour

Charles Town, West Virginia's Claymont Mansion (577 Claymont Mansion Rd.) will host its annual Holiday Open-House Tour on THIS SATURDAY, December 14, and Sunday, December 15, both days from 1-4pm.

The historic Georgian-style mansion was the home of Bushrod Corbin Washington, the grand-nephew of George Washington. The Mansion was built in 1820 and is listed on the National Historic Register.

This year’s Open-House will kick off the 200th anniversary of the mansion. A suggested donation of $5 dollars will help support the ongoing restoration effort.

Info: 304-725-4437 or [email protected]

Shepherd University Community Music Program December 11 ConcertThe Shepherd University Community Music program announces...
12/09/2019

Shepherd University Community Music Program December 11 Concert

The Shepherd University Community Music program announces a concert by the Shepherd Community Orchestra, Junior String Ensemble, and Shepherd Youth Chorus at the Frank Center Theater THIS WEDNESDAY, December 11, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for Shepherd students with a valid Rambler ID. Tickets can be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to the concert.

The Junior String Ensemble, made up of string players in third grade through middle school and under the direction of Shepherd alumna Renee Shaw Nutwell, will perform “Skaters Waltz” by Émile Waldteufel; the traditional song “Make New Friends”; and “Amazing Grace,” arranged by Renata Bratt.

The Shepherd Youth Chorus, directed by Dr. David Gonzol, and assistant director Angela Weaver, is celebrating its 12th season this year. Founded in 2008 by Gonzol, director of music education, the membership is made up of male and female vocalists in grades three to eight. This will be Gonzol’s last season as director before his retirement from Shepherd in May 2020.

Each season the chorus has sung a national song, including anthems from Austria, Australia, France, Taiwan, and America—each in its original language. This fall the chorus will sing the Swedish national anthem, “Du gamla, du fria.” The Shepherd Youth Chorus will also sing “Ding Dong, the Bells Do Ring,” a round from volume I of the original Musik für Kinder which includes glockenspiels, xylophones, and contra bass bars. And from Gonzol’s “Round the Corner,” the students will play Orff percussion instruments to accompany the chorus singing his arrangement of the folk song “Hanging Out the Linen Clothes.”

The Shepherd Community Orchestra, directed by Shepherd Camilo Pérez-Mejía, ajdunct music professor, will perform the second half of the evening’s program. The orchestra is made up of advanced middle and high school string students and community members from Jefferson and Berkeley counties and Washington County, Maryland, as well as Shepherd music students. The Shepherd Orchestra will perform Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Hymn,” from “Appalachian Spring”; Arturo Márquez, “Danzón N. 2”; Petronio Alvarez (arr. L. Tamayo), “Mi Buenaventura”; Aldemaro Romero, “Fuga con Pajarillo”; Antonio Carlos Jobim, “Chega de Saudade”; and Clare Grundman’s “Midnight Beguine.”

For more information, contact Sherry Sykes, coordinator of the Community Music program, at [email protected] or 304-876-5248.

Delegate John Doyle, WV District 67 contributed to our December issue with an update on the MARC Train issue that has be...
12/09/2019
MARC Train Service Appears to Be Saved - The Observer

Delegate John Doyle, WV District 67 contributed to our December issue with an update on the MARC Train issue that has been ever-present in the Panhandle this fall.

Read more here:

As of this writing (about a week before publication) the West Virginia State Rail Authority (SRA), at the direction of Governor Jim Justice, was actively involved in discussions with the Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) for a multi-year agreement to continue MARC commuter rail service at i...

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts Set for December and January  The Potomac Valley Audubon Society has set Saturday, Decembe...
12/08/2019

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts Set for December and January

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society has set Saturday, December 14; Sunday, December 15; and Saturday, January 4, as the dates for this winter's annual Christmas Bird Counts.

These local-area counts are part of a massive, historic 120-year-old citizen science project: a volunteer-based Christmas Bird Count that has been conducted throughout the western hemisphere every year since 1900 under the auspices of the National Audubon Society.

The purpose is to monitor the status and distribution of early-winter bird populations. Count volunteers join teams that go out in the field and follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day.

For more information and to join, visit www.potomacaudubon.org.

The Shepherdstown Public Library Schedule For Rest of December Dec. 11: Library Board to meet, 7pm (open to public). Dec...
12/07/2019

The Shepherdstown Public Library Schedule For Rest of December

Dec. 11: Library Board to meet, 7pm (open to public).

Dec. 14: Story Time with activities for all ages, 11am.

Dec. 19: Homeschool Story Time, (ages 5+), 1 pm. / and Film “Brave” at 5pm. (OK to bring allergen-free snacks & wear pajamas.)

Dec. 21: A LEGO Club (ages 4+), 11am. Holiday hours: Open 10am-7pm on

Dec. 23. Closed

Dec. 24 and 25. Open 10am-3pm on Dec. 26, 27, 28, and 30.

Closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Regular hours resume on Jan. 2.

For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Blood Drive at St. James Catholic Church in Charles TownThis holiday season, consider giving someone the gift of life. C...
12/07/2019

Blood Drive at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town

This holiday season, consider giving someone the gift of life. Consider joining St. James Catholic Church (49 Crosswinds Drive, Charles Town, West Virginia) for their December Blood Drive.

The Drive is scheduled from 1:30-7pm, and is being conducted by the American Red Cross. To schedule an appointment, visit the website below, or call 800-733-2767.

www.redcrossblood.org and enter “stjamescc”

Local Author Ginny Fite to Read from Newest Novel Jefferson County resident Ginny Fite Author will read and sign her new...
12/06/2019

Local Author Ginny Fite to Read from Newest Novel

Jefferson County resident Ginny Fite Author will read and sign her newest novel, Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea, at Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown tomorrow, December 7, at 2pm.

For more information, visit www.ginnyfite.com as well as www.fourseasonsbooks.com.

A Dolley Jolly Christmas Lands in Charles Town Tomorrow The Dolley Madison Garden Club of Charles Town WV's fifth-annual...
12/06/2019

A Dolley Jolly Christmas Lands in Charles Town Tomorrow

The Dolley Madison Garden Club of Charles Town WV's fifth-annual holiday market is set for TOMORROW, Saturday, December 7, from 9am-2pm, at the Charles Town Library (200 E. Washington St., Charles Town, West Virginia)

Come sip coffee or cider and eat delicious Christmas cookies—the Garden Club Christmas Market will be there to assist you with your Christmas shopping. Vendors will have everything from home décor to woodworking, food, and much more.

This year, there will be a book sale, as well as a flea market table. The Garden Club exists to beautify their community through gardening and community projects. The library will be the beneficiary of the proceeds from this year’s Christmas Market.

Twinkling lights, Santa, and Christmas music will abound, and attendees will enjoy watching the children as they see Santa and participate in Christmas craft activities.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 703-401-5363

Shepherdstown's Christmas Parade Tomorrow! Sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitors Center and organized by the Shepherds...
12/06/2019

Shepherdstown's Christmas Parade Tomorrow!

Sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitors Center and organized by the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, Shepherdstown's popular annual Christmas Parade rolls down German Street tomorrow, Saturday, December 7, beginning at 10am.

The Panhandle community is invited to attend this festive, family friendly holiday event.

Under the Big Top: The Rotary Ball – SET FOR THIS SATURDAYTHIS SATURDAY, December 7, from 7-11pm, at the Shepherdstown V...
12/05/2019

Under the Big Top: The Rotary Ball – SET FOR THIS SATURDAY

THIS SATURDAY, December 7, from 7-11pm, at the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department (8052 Martinsburg Pike, Shepherdstown), the Shepherdstown Rotary Club will present a traditional holiday event of food, drink, and fun that raises money for numerous charities.

Enjoy constructing a wreath with your table mates. All supplies provided by Shepherdstown Rotary.

Visit www.shepherdstownrotary.org for more information.

Shepherdstown Holiday Marketplace Set for December WeekendsLooking for unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind items for gift gi...
12/05/2019

Shepherdstown Holiday Marketplace Set for December Weekends

Looking for unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind items for gift giving and decorating this holiday season? The local artisans and crafters at the Shepherdstown Holiday Marketplace may have the perfect item for you.

The Marketplace runs each Saturday and Sunday, from 10am-4pm, until Christmas, at the Entler Hotel on the corner of German and Princess Streets in downtown Shepherdstown.

Offerings will include fresh wreathes and greens, one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories for adults and children, pottery, buckeyes and other candies, birdhouses and feeders, painted gourds, jewelry, candles, decorative signs, jams and jellies, as well as holiday cookies, breads, peanut brittle, art work ,and much more.

Special orders and commissions will also be available. Support local, small businesses and handmade this holiday season!

For more info, email [email protected].

49th Annual Harpers Ferry - Bolivar Olde Tyme Christmas Festival Starts TOMORROW Join Bolivar, West Virginia and Harpers...
12/05/2019

49th Annual Harpers Ferry - Bolivar Olde Tyme Christmas Festival Starts TOMORROW

Join Bolivar, West Virginia and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, for the popular annual double-holiday weekend also known as the Harpers Ferry-Bolivar Olde Tyme Christmas Festival, set for THIS Friday-Sunday, December 6-8, and Saturday-Sunday, December 14-15.

The festival offers performances meant to capture the spirit of a historic Christmas celebration, where quaintly decorated streets come alive for the holiday season!

Some attractions include: Shops and restaurants with extended hours and special sales; Horse-drawn wagon rides; Historic candy-making demonstration and classes; Santa and Mrs. Claus strolling through town; Live performances by musicians and historians; A live performance of the Nativity play at historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church, and more.

The Yule Log and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off this event at 7pm TOMORROW, Friday, December 6.

Shops are open from 10am-9pm on both Saturdays, and 10am-6pm on both Sundays. For more information on lodging and parking, visit www.harpersferryotc.com.

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Shepherdstown, WV
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