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UP: To the more than 400 young volunteers who have been in town this week participating in this summer’s Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp. The volunteers, students from both here and around the country, work throughout the day repairing and sprucing up homes of residents who would otherwise be unable to afford the work. This year, the campers worked on 35 homes throughout the area.
UP: To the annual Rendezvous on the River living history event, which concludes today at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. The rendezvous’s re-enactors, who come from all over the country, use authentic early 19th century tools, clothing and shelter to recreate the trading events “mountain men” attended to trade goods. Participants are able to walk through the camps to observe and talk with those who are knowledgeable about this period of American history.
UP: To Lieutenants John and Sharon Autry who have completed their first week as the new commanders of the Salvation Army of Parkersburg. The Autrys came to Parkersburg from their last post in Oklahoma City, Okla., and are replacing Captains Erik and Mechelle Henry, who, conversely, are being posted in Oklahoma City. Congratulations to the Autrys, and we hope their tenure in our community is a happy and successful one.
UP: To the Eddy family – mom Mary and sons Jake, 14, and Carter, 10, who were winners in a recent national video jingle contest sponsored by the Band-Aid company. For the “Stuck on Me” theme, the Eddys created a “Stuck on Bluegrass” jingle for the contest. A panel of judges selected the 12 finalists, whose videos were then voted on by the public. The family members were recently informed they were the winners of the $10,000 prize. Congratulations to the talented Eddy family.
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UP: To the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society’s effort to raise funds to purchase the historic Phelps-Tavenner house on Camden Avenue. The group is sponsoring a limited-300 ticket raffle for a Parkersburg Heritage American Legacy fully functional .30-30 rifle and French-fitted carrying case. WCHPS President Bob Enoch said the raffle is part of the ongoing fundraising efforts of the society to raise $55,000 for the purchase of the house. The group has until the end of the year to come up with the money for the property. We hope the community will get behind this worthy effort.
UP: To the first-ever Marietta Marketplace, scheduled to be held today on the front lawn of Armory Square. Nineteen vendors will be showing their wares in the marketplace, which is being described as a combination crafts show, flea market, antiques and artist’s show.
UP: To the continuation of the contract between the Humane Society of Parkersburg and the Wood County Commission for animal control and shelter services. The commissioners approved the agreement in 2013 for $271,344. It was for two years, but because state code prevents counties from obligating future commissioners, the second year had to be re-approved for the new fiscal year. It’s good for both county residents and officials that this contract has not been the hot-button issue it has been in previous years.
UP: To plans that will soon see two 8.5-feet tall brick pillars at both ends of Washington Avenue to recognize the historical significance of the area. The area, which includes several homes that were built by the industrial leaders of the time, including Bernard McDonough, also includes Parkersburg High School. District residents raised $6,000 for the pillars, while the state kicked in $3,000. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held July 26.
UP: To the annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival, continuing through Sunday at City Park. The festival is always a good time and features an eclectic variety of music and food.
UP: To the Dairy Barn in Athens, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this past week. Constructed in 1914 as part of the Athens Asylum, it is now popular because of the various culture events it hosts throughout the year.
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UP: To Edison Middle School’s F.O.R. Club, which recently hosted a luncheon for county firefighters, police officers and EMTs. Members wanted to do something for the first responders because they are constantly serving others. Members of the Vienna, Parkersburg, Eastwood, Mineral Wells fire departments, city, county and state law enforcement departments and EMTs from Camden Clark and St. Joseph’s stopped for a lunch of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, baked beans, chips, soda, water and homemade desserts.
UP: To the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the Garfield Medical Complex. The medical complex – two buildings at the Traffic Circle on Garfield Avenue – will house the offices of Dr. Orton Armstrong, M.D.; Dr. William Tomlinson, M.D.; Mountain River Physical Therapy; Dr. J. Scott Eckels, DDS MS; and Cox Family Pharmacy. There is space for three other medical service providers in the buildings, with one tenant space still available for lease.
UP: To the West Virginia University Extension Service, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the national program this year. The office was created with the signing of the Smith-Lever Act establishing the Cooperative Extension Service throughout the United States as a collaboration of federal, state and local governments. WVU, the land grant university in West Virginia, has Extension offices in all 55 counties as the outreach arm of the school. In Wood County, Energy Express, 4-H, Master Gardeners, and the CEOS clubs are among programs that are part of the office. A sugar maple – the state tree – was donated by the Extension Master Gardeners of Wood County and planted at Fort Boreman Park to mark the occasion.
DOWN: To members of Parkersburg City Council for apparently not understanding some of the ordinances that come before them. During last Tuesday’s meeting, council failed to second Councilman Jim Reed’s motion to approve the first reading of an ordinance allowing the Parkersburg Utility Board to spend up to $1 million to replace aging vehicles. The motion died. After the meeting, Councilmen Roger Brown and Sharon Lynch said they did not want to approve the measure because they feared the additional debt would cause rates to rise in the wake of a recent sewer rate increase. However, Mayor Bob Newell – also after the meeting – said the recent sewer rate increase would cover the cost of the new equipment and there would be no additional rate increases. It is puzzling no member of city council asked about the measure either before or during the meeting, and the mayor didn’t explain then what he explained after the meeting. Council President John Rockhold, who said he could not second Reed’s motion because he was running the meeting, suggested no councilman offered a second because they didn’t “want to expose their ignorance” during the meeting. However, sometimes ignorance is exposed without a word being said.
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UP: To the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation for the nearly $147,000 in grants awarded Tuesday. The grants, part of the PACF’s spring grant cycle, went to groups and service organizations in an 11-county area for projects that benefit the communities. The PACF is a vital part of the area and one of the big reasons this is such a caring place to live.
UP: To the generosity and love of West Virginia University at Parkersburg the late Eldon Miller showed by his $1 million endowment to the school, announced this week. Miller was president at the college for 18 years, retiring in 2000. He called his association with the school and the community “one of the most significant parts of my career and life.” Miller obviously loved the school and community and his legacy now will live on through the students who will be able to attend WVU-P because of his generosity.
UP: To the businesses and participants who helped the annual Kids Golf Classic raise a record $176,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg. The Kids Classic is the “difference in us existing and not,” Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg executive director Ben Shuman said. In its 18 years of existence, the event has raised more than $2 million.
UP: To the survivors of D-Day, the allied forces’ landing at Normandy that was the turning point of World War II. This was the 70th anniversary of the landing, and, unfortunately, there are fewer participants in this historic event left every year. It is vital to our nation that we never forget what these soldiers and sailors, many in the flower of their youth and many who never returned home, accomplished on June 6, 1944.
DOWN: To the drug culture that has led to a growing number of meth and prescription drug arrests in both Wood and Washington counties during the past several weeks. On Tuesday, law enforcement officers arrested Jeremy R. Buffington, 36, and Monica A. Thomas-Smith, 36, both of 2615 Cypress St., on several drug charges. This was the third alleged meth lab bust in Wood County in two weeks. And on Wednesday, several law enforcement agencies in Ohio arrested seven people after four homes were searched for drugs in Lowell. A positive sign is many of these arrests happened because neighbors tipped off police to the suspicious activity taking place at these residences.