Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

DOWN: To the announcement of the upcoming closure of Kmart in south Parkersburg. While the closure of an unprofitable store is certainly understandable from a business perspective, the change will leave a hole in the southside retail community, and the routines of shoppers who have frequented the store for their whole lives. We join Mayor Jimmy Colombo in being “hopeful the space won’t stay vacant for very long.”

UP: To the new crop of public officials being sworn in or preparing to take office next week. Each of them bears a responsibility to the people they have been elected to serve; and we hope Parkersburg Councilman-elect John Reed is correct that “this council is going to really strive hard to work together.”

UP: To programs such as the one by the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department to get working smoke detectors into every home and reduce the number of fire fatalities. “We installed our first smoke detectors on Monday,” said Danny Varner, a firefighter with the Lubeck VFD. “It was very gratifying knowing that when we left, the homeowners’ family was protected.”

UP: To former Parkersburg resident Diane Elliott, for sharing with us her father’s diary from his time as a prisoner of war in Stalag IV, in Torgau, Germany. Edward Baum, of the 106th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army was captured Dec. 19, 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.