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Rep. Wise visits Eastern Panhandle

June 27, 1998

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Ivan Alger, 9, put on a dress shirt and tie Friday to meet his congressman, U.S. Rep. Bob Wise.

"I'm not used to it," Alger said.

Alger and other Eastern Panhandle students met with Wise, D-W.Va., as he visited Berkeley and Jefferson counties Friday.

They were winners of a contest for fourth-graders to draw the best replica of the West Virginia seal.

Alger, a fourth-grader at Hedgesville Elementary, said he likes his adopted state. He moved to West Virginia from California.

"Mostly the people are friendly and the roads aren't all straight, and the beautiful scenery," Alger said.

Matthew Frye, 10, a fourth-grader at Martinsburg's Rosemont Elementary, said he learned a lot about the state's history in drawing the state seal.

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"I like the mountains," Frye said.

Wise made the opening remarks Friday morning at the Panhandle Procurement Trade Show. About 40 business representatives attended to learn how to bid on federal contracts.

The event was sponsored by the Regional Contracting Assistance Corp. and the Small Business Development Center.

Wise said large corporations have staff to work with federal agencies to learn about the agencies' needs and how to apply for the contracts.

Wise said the trade show was intended for smaller businesses that can meet supply needs for the many federal offices in the Eastern Panhandle, from the U.S. Geological Survey's Leetown Science Center to the Internal Revenue Service's computer center.

"The government buys everything from pencils to computers," Wise said.

A Jefferson County company, Ruland Associates Inc., announced Friday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission awarded a more than $2.8 million contract for RAI to operate and manage three computer centers at the commission's headquarters in Rockville, Md.

RAI's founder and president, James Ruland, is a Jefferson County commissioner.

Wise said a third reason he was in the Eastern Panhandle on Friday was to guide German investors who may open a small manufacturing plant in the area. The company makes sophisticated cameras.

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