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Downtown Charles Town has a new hand-dipped ice cream shop. A family-owned operation, The Caverns Ice Cream Shop is at 212 North George Street. (The shop’s service window and dining patio are behind the building facing the municipal parking lot off West Liberty Street.) 

In addition to currently offering 16 flavors of ice cream, the shop features cones, sundaes and milkshakes. It’s also serving baked cookies and hot and cold coffee from Black Dog Coffee Company in Bardane.

Jennifer Whitten of Charles Town started the shop as a family venture, which includes help from her eight children.

“We really just wanted to bring a family-owned shop to town, and we’ve always had a passion for ice cream,” explained Amy Valentine, Whitten’s newly married daughter. “And we have a big family, so for us it was something that involves everyone.”

Open on Thursdays through Sundays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., the shop currently serves Turkey Hill ice cream, but its proprietors are considering making homemade ice cream in the future, Valentine said.

New internet service coming to Jefferson County

Some Ranson and Charles Town residents should have another option to receive internet service starting in January. Shenandoah Telecommunications, a company that does business as Shentel, is expanding its service area into Jefferson County starting in those municipalities.

Shentel’s all-fiber-optic network service, called Glo Fiber, should eventually reach more than 4,000 homes and businesses in Charles Town and Ranson, according to Chris Kyle, Shentel’s vice president of industry and regulatory affairs.

The Glo Fiber service can provide high-speed data transfers, streaming TV and digital phone service, Kyle said. The company can also provide Wi-Fi service into its cable system.

“We will be competing directly with Comcast,” Kyle said. “Jefferson County is a rapidly growing residential area so our expansion into this area is a very exciting time for the company. We’re looking forward to offering dependable and cost-effective internet to those who need it.”

Shentel’s expansion into Jefferson County is the second for West Virginia, following recent extensions of its 7,000-mile network into Martinsburg and other communities in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Shentel works with cities to design the optic-fiber installations, Kyle said. The Glo Fiber crews will partner with construction companies to install aerial (telephone poles) or underground fiber optic cables. Cables then will be strung directly to homes.

“Residents [in Ranson and Charles Town] will already be seeing our working crews,” Kyle said.

Shentel representatives will be meeting with county officials in the future to possibly secure “grants” to provide broadband services where they don’t exist, Kyle said. 

New Rotary member in Shepherdstown

Michael Hamady, a communications-infrastructure project manager from Shepherdstown, recently joined the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown as a new member. Hamady has managed various production and advertising for a variety of clients, from National Public Radio to the Department of Justice. Most recently, he was employed by Vision Technologies in Chantilly, Virginia, to coordinate projects for clients such as Amazon, Oracle and and Microsoft.

Remodeling recognized

Horizon Goodwill Industries in Shepherdstown plans to celebrate a remodeling of its store in the Maddex Shopping Center on Friday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at noon, and the public is welcome. The first 50 shoppers in the store at 83 Maddex Square Dr. that day starting at 10 a.m. will receive a free reusable Goodwill bag.

Mental health services expanded

The Mountaineer Recovery Center in Kearneysville and the Mountaineer Behavioral Health in Martinsburg announced that they are providing individual, group, family and couples therapy, as well as outpatient medication management for adults ages 18 and older.

For information, visit mountaineerrecovery.com.

County business registrations continue

Last month, 49 new businesses in Jefferson County registered with the West West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. For the last 10 months since January, 509 new businesses in the county registered.

Those new businesses in Jefferson include a bookkeeping firm in Shenandoah Junction, a security consultant in Kearneysville, a commercial office cleaning shop in Harpers Ferry and an electrician shop in Shepherdstown. 

In total, Jefferson County has 3,589 businesses, according to the state registration figures. 

For comparison, the West Virginia counties that lead the state in total businesses registered for the month of October were Kanawha, Monongalia and Berkeley. Kanawha County had 104 business registrations last month, according to state data. Monongalia County reported 95 business registrations. In Berkeley County, 83 businesses registered.

Summers County is leading all 55 counties with an 18.24 percent business growth rate for the year. Clay County led the state in the percentage of new business registration growth for the month with a total of four new businesses, a 1.88 percent increase. 

Statewide, West Virginia registered 12,061 new businesses in the previous 12-month period, from Nov. 1, 2020, to Oct. 31.

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