Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Up: To Parkersburg South High School football players who joined After the Disaster to separate and pack donated items into emergency kits for families affected by house fires. “I am really thankful for the help,” said organizer Joy Buskirk. Kudos to those involved with the PSHS football program who have made the decision to help these young men be the best they can be both on AND off the field.

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Down: To news that Clay County may be losing its only full grocery store. The owner of Clay IGA has filed for bankruptcy and the store has been closed since June 24. County Commissioner Connie Kinder called the closure “devastating” to the county of 9,360 people. It is one more sign that far too many West Virginians have been left behind — and, in fact, are struggling more than ever — in this allegedly booming and spectacular economy we are told exists somewhere else in the country.

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UP: To Highmark West Virginia, on the 10th anniversary of its headquarters here in Parkersburg. While Wood County Economic Development director Lindsey Piersonl pointed to the building setting “an example for what others want to do in downtown,” there is another important factor that has cemented the company’s relationship with Parkersburg. “This is our community,” said Highmark President Jim Fawcett.

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