Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the folks who have had to work outdoors during the past several days, as temperatures in the area have reached record lows, even without the bitter wind chill. Add to it the ice and snow still covering the ground (and many roads), and the first responders, utility workers, tow truck drivers, contractors, mail carriers, waste haulers, newspaper deliverers and anyone else who does not have the luxury of staying cozy in a warm building during this stretch have earned our admiration.

UP: To news that an underground natural gas liquids storage hub has cleared its second development hurdle with the U.S. Department of Energy. Hopes continue to be high that the Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub will one day bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the region.

UP: To the men and women who keep our local food pantries running, even as they experience a post-holiday slowdown in donations; and to those who continue to give, even with then need is less front and center in our minds. The need for food does not end with the passing of the holiday season. For example, even in February, the Marietta Community Food Pantry serves 500 people, according to director Laurie Nash.

UP: To news that specialists at West Virginia University’s Heart and Vascular Institute have performed the first operation in the state to place a heart pump called a left ventricular assist device in a patient with heart failure. “Prior to this, most patients from our state and the surrounding region would have to leave the state for care,” said Vinay Badhwar, chief of cardiac surgery and executive chair of the institute. “We’re pleased to let you know that now that is no longer necessary, that all patients that would otherwise would leave can be cared for right here.”