Hope comes in form of new fitness center

An editorial from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — McDowell County is on the move. Good things are happening, and the future is looking brighter. In recent years, we’ve seen everything from new schools, restaurants and shopping areas to a new federal prison, a new theater in downtown Welch and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.

But despite all of these positive developments, the county is still at or near the bottom of many studies when it comes to the well being of county residents. McDowell has been cited as the lowest county in the nation for life expectancy. And the rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol are among the highest in the United States, recent health studies found.

That’s why the county’s new health and fitness center is so important. It opened just last week, and is already making a positive difference for many families who otherwise had to travel an hour or longer to utilize similar facilities in neighboring counties.

The new fitness center is located on McDowell Street in downtown Welch and is open to the public. The response to the facility to date has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Randal Johnson, executive director of the Council of Southern Mountains…

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