RIPLEY - Ripley historian, journalist and Viking sports announcer Mike Ruben is the 2013 Ripley Fourth of July Grand Parade Marshal.

Ruben was the producer and playwright of "Ripley: The Man and the Town That Honors His Name" during the community's 175th anniversary celebration in 2007. The play tells the story of how the town's name was changed in 1832 from Jackson Court House to honor Harry Ripley, a young circuit riding minister who tragically drowned in Mill Creek.

Following the production, Ruben was honored as a Distinguished West Virginian by Governor Joe Manchin and was selected a West Virginia History Hero by the Division of Culture and History.

An avid supporter of Ripley High, Ruben began announcing athletic events at the school before graduating with the Class of 1976. A graduate of Marshall University, he served as the Thundering Herd's football stadium announcer for 27 years. The National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers chose him as the West Virginia and seven-state Region 2 Announcer of the Year in 2005.

The Viking Voices Scholarship is presented annually to student athlete from RHS in recognition of Ruben and the late John Rice, a long-time local radio announcer. He is a member of the Viking Football Hall of Fame and the baseball press box at Viking Park is named, "Rube's Roost" in his honor.
A former editor of The Jackson Herald and publisher of Jackson Newspapers, he is presently the special projects editor of The State Journal.