The monthly Charleston Chamber of Commerce meeting was held at the Gathering Place on Wednesday, August 1 at noon, with a room full of business leaders and members present.

Donna Martin opened the meeting and announced that President Cody Sosebee was out of state working. Jonas Schaffer from Greenhurst Nursing Home recognized a long time employee, Nina Johnson, for her outstanding contributions to their organization.

Susie Potts talked about a new neighborhood watch program for the main street area that several citizens are interested in starting. Please contact her or Franklin County policeman Levi White for more information on how to get involved.

Misty Hawkins from the Charleston public library reported that between June 1 and July 25 the library checked out 6052 items, coming in second in the entire region. An AETN film crew was there this week filming. Over the summer they have had 37 programs with 1591 participants. She also reported that the entire county is starting a reading program together and the first book is To Kill a Mockingbird. She handed out copies at the lunch. Brooke Bell-Whitburn with Zoe Bug’s boutique was present to remind everyone of the tax-free weekend in August and stated that they would be open on Sunday afternoon for this event. Stacey Beason reported that the Charleston parade will be held December 1, at 5:30 PM. All participants need to show up around 5 PM at the school. No pre-registration is required.

Joy Sewell talked about the upcoming Charleston Fair, to be held on September 6, 7 & 8. She encouraged everyone to enter home exhibits and livestock. She also reported that the water and electric lines are being updated on the fairgrounds.

Daniel Thueson was introduced as the new Charleston United Methodist church pastor, and was welcomed warmly.

Paul Effurd briefly discussed the above mentioned crime watch program and the need for it. He also commended the great work the police force are doing.

Representative Megan Shotzman was present from Senator Bozeman‘s office and representative Megan Farmer was president from Tom Cotton‘s office.

Jeff Holland announced that there will be a foster care/adoption info meeting hosted by The CALL on Tuesday, August 7 at the First FreeWill Baptist Church in Charleston.

He also announced his church is starting an afterschool program for students in kindergarten through fourth grade. They have 15 spots and it will run from 3 PM to 5:30 PM after school each day. Inita Tusing and Daniel Young will be running the program.

Medisav representatives announced that flu shots will be available soon.

Brian Martin, with the Charleston Police Department, announced that the street running from sonic to the Charleston lake would be receiving new pavement soon. Reed Haynes gave a medical update on Jim West, who was in a recent accident and could not attend the meeting today.

Donna Martin announced that there will be a short meeting this Wednesday, August 8, to brainstorm ideas to promote local business and revitalize downtown Charleston. It will be held at 8 a.m. at the Gathering Place. Anyone interested is welcome to attend!

Daniel Thueson closed the meeting with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The chamber meets on the first Wednesday of each month at noon and is always happy to have visitors and new members join us.