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Vienna rejects move to exempt senior citizens from police fee

VIENNA — After a month of discussion, an ordinance to reduce the police protection fee to zero for those age 65 or older failed its first reading at Thursday night’s Vienna City Council meeting. Mayor Randy Rapp, Recorder Cathy Smith and Councilmen Jim Leach and Bruce Rogers voted ...

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Armstead announces he won’t see re-election

CHARLESTON — West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, this afternoon announced he will not seek re-election this year. Armstead made the announcement on his Facebook page. "After much prayer and thought, I have decided that I will not be running for re-election ...

Wood County Commission seeks sales tax

PARKERSBURG — Wood County officials want to meet with state lawmakers to see if a bill can be introduced this legislative session that would allow counties to enact a 1 percent sales tax like many municipalities have through Home Rule. Wood County Commission President Blair Couch on ...

Changes on horizon for Parkersburg Homecoming

PARKERSBURG — The 2018 Parkersburg Homecoming will return to a three-day format, and that’s just one of many changes on the horizon, Homecoming President Michael Cottrell said. “We have been out on the streets for about three weeks talking to sponsors,” he said. “The response has ...

Proposed West Virginia Senate bill pushes technical education

CHARLESTON — A proposed bill in the West Virginia Senate would seek to reinvigorate the state’s workforce by making technical training programs more affordable. Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, is sponsoring SB 284, which is modeled after a similar program in Tennessee. The ...

Photo by Erin E. O’Neill
Oak Grove resident Alan Bartlett, left, expresses concerns about an ongoing sewer dispute at the weekly meeting of the Washington County commissioners. Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Coil, Washington County Health Commissioner Dick Wittberg, Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings, all seated at table, were also in attendance to address the public.

Washington County Commission meeting moving to larger venue

MARIETTA — So many people came out to express their concerns over an ongoing sewer dispute between Washington County and the City of Marietta that a Thursday county commission meeting was recessed until Monday at 10 a.m. when it will be moved to a larger facility at 204 Davis Ave. to ...

Officials confident of Reliance Treatment Centers plan at Mountwood Park

PARKERSBURG — Although there have been concerns recently, county officials are confident in Reliance Treatment Centers to keep its financial commitments to Mountwood Park. About this time last year, Reliance announced its Reliance Ridge facility in West Virginia was being set up at ...

Photo by Michael Kelly
Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton and curriculum director Jona Hall listen as community members ask questions and indicate their positions at a meeting Thursday night about the district’s proposal to realign the elementary school system.

Marietta City Schools discusses elementary schools proposal

MARIETTA — The administration of Marietta City Schools got its first chance Thursday night to harvest a broad community response to a proposal to remake the elementary school system. The meeting in the Marietta High School auditorium drew more than 200 community members, with up to a ...

Poll: West Virginians support co-tenancy

PARKERSBURG — A controversial issue in the natural gas industry has support of a majority of likely voters in West Virginia, according to a poll by Orion Strategies. The survey also found nearly three-quarters of voters support the election of members to the state Board of Education. Members ...

Photo by Michael Kelly
Dr. Richard Gunovich examines Zander Greathouse, 7, of Marietta during a hearing clinic at the Marietta Health Department on Thursday afternoon.

Marietta City Health Department offers hearing clinic

MARIETTA — Children and their families shuffled around the second floor hallway of the Marietta City Hall Annex on Putnam Street, talking to nurses and therapists, sitting and waiting, heading into exam rooms. Some had been referred by schools, others by agencies, some came in on their ...

Ely Chapman Education Center to host pet tricks auditions Saturday

MARIETTA — Pet lovers throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley of all ages are invited to enter their pets in the Super Stupendous Pet Tricks and Perfectly Precious Pet Parade at the Peoples Bank Theatre, Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. Pets of all sorts, except reptiles, can be dressed up or have their ...

Children Services levy set for Washington County ballot

MARIETTA — Washington County Commission voted Thursday to place a five-year 0.55-mill additional tax levy for Children Services on the May ballot. That would amount to an increase of $0.055 for each $100 of valuation, to generate $817,093 for the agency, according to the Washington County ...

Mike Azinger appointed to legislative committee

CHARLESTON — Sen. Mike Azinger, R-Wood, Thursday was named chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. He succeeds Jeff Mullins, a Republican from Raleigh County, who resigned on Jan. 12. Mullins cited increased business and family obligations. The appointment was immediate, ...

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Representatives from the Calhoun County Commission and TransCanada stand in the snow and cold for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the site of the White Oak Compressor Station in Calhoun County. The $94 million station is one of three compressor operations planned in the $2 billion, 165-mile Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. From left, Tim Chambers of TransCanada, Earl Vineyard of TransCanada, Commissioner Michael Hicks, Matthew Franklin of TransCanada, Commissioner Scottie “Chip” Westfall II, Brittany Carns of TransCanada and Commission President Kevin Helmick.

Calhoun County officials, TransCanada reps break ground for compressor station

GRANTSVILLE — Despite cold and snow, Calhoun County commissioners and representatives of a natural gas development company broke ground Tuesday for a $100 million compressor station for the Mountaineer XPress pipeline. TransCanada, parent company of Columbia Gas Transmission, is building the ...

Frank Deem backs single representative districts bill

CHARLESTON — A bill introduced in the House of Delegates will once again call for the establishment of 100 single representative delegate districts in West Virginia. A Wood County delegate thinks this has a good chance of passing. House Bill 4002 was introduced in the House last Friday and ...

Republican candidates for Ohio governor discuss issues

MARIETTA — The filing period for the May 8 primary election in Ohio is Feb. 7-26. The big race will be to determine who will be for governor this year. John Kasich, a Republican who in early 2016 briefly ran a failed campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, is term-limited and can’t ...

Work begins on natural gas pump station in Williamstown

WILLIAMSTOWN — Improvements for gas service are underway in Williamstown. Mayor Jean Ford said the construction equipment and materials seen along Highland Avenue are for a new building for Dominion Transmission near Knottingham Lane. “Dominion is building a new building to house pumps ...

Photo by Art Smith
Ice hangs off a truck and garage following a fire Wednesday morning at a 516 Middle St. home in Belpre.

Fire damages Belpre home

BELPRE — A Belpre Police officer alerted the occupants of a Middle Street home to a fire Wednesday morning, and everyone was able to get out safely. The fire in an attached garage that also housed an indoor pool was reported around 5:05 a.m. Wednesday, Belpre Volunteer Fire Department ...

Photo by Evan Bevins
City of Parkersburg medium equipment operator Roger Hanley gets his truck refilled with salt at the municipal salt dome off Camden Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

Winter weather drives up salt use in the Mid-Ohio Valley

PARKERSBURG — After a couple of mild winters, city and state crews have spread a great deal of salt on local roads in late 2017 and early 2018. “We’ve obviously used more salt than we did all of last year,” Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce said this week. With numbers still coming in for ...

Illustration by Evan Bevins
A Belpre Elementary School second-grader works on a calamity day assignment.

Mid-Ohio Valley school officials look to make up snow days

PARKERSBURG — Days lost to winter weather will be made up, officials said Wednesday, but so far won’t extend the school year. Area school systems closed for the third day this week as Winter Storm Irma swept across the East Coast. Fifty-four of West Virginia’s 55 county-based school ...