Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, where Via Air has been completing 94 percent of its flights since November. Airport Manager Glen Kelly hopes that with the improved performance, the airport can soar past 10,000 enplanements a year, within the next 18 months.

UP: To the Wood County Board of Education seeking public input on the selection process for a new superintendent. The school board will hold a public forum at 6:30 p.m. April 18 at the district’s offices at 13th and Plum streets in Parkersburg. It is an excellent opportunity for local residents to weigh in to the board about what is important to them in the search for a leader of Wood County Schools.

DOWN: To news that the rate of babies born addicted to drugs is increasing in West Virginia; and that, in fact, the rate in some counties is more than 1 out of every ten hospital births. The statewide rate of babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome is an appalling 50.6 of every 1,000 births. “Children across our state have suffered more than anyone because of the drug epidemic and these NAS numbers quantify this tragedy,” said Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch.

UP: To Amtrak’s efforts to continue the New River Train service in southern West Virginia this fall. Though Amtrak had planned to end charter and special service trains, Mountain State elected officials reminded them of the importance to our tourism industry of specials like the New River Train, operated by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, in late October from Huntington to Hinton; or Hinton Railroad Days. Surely Amtrak will find a way to preserve them.