Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the firefighters, other emergency responders and contractors who are still laboring away — a week later — at the scene of the IEI Plastics warehouse fire on Old Camden Avenue in Parkersburg. Those men and women have given a great deal of their time and energy (some of them ALL of their time and energy) to fight the fire and find out how it will affect the rest of us. Regardless of any information revealed in the ongoing investigation, there is no doubt we owe those folks a huge debt of gratitude.

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UP: To the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, which celebrated 80 years with its annual dinner this week. Business is certainly booming in Belpre, and the folks gathered for the event have a lot about which they can be proud. Here’s to another 80 years.

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UP: To news a developer has purchased the former federal building at 426 Juliana St., Parkersburg, and has plans for office, manufacturing and retail space as well as luxury apartments. Perhaps this is a sign our region is getting more attention from national development firms, who are beginning to see the potential we all already know is here.

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DOWN: To empty declarations that come with lots of nice words, such as the federal declaration that the opioid epidemic is a public health emergency. The declaration is effective for 90 days (though it can be renewed); comes with no new funding — not a dime; and contains no mention of the two federal agencies who could have helped put a stop to all this a decade ago.

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