UP: To the Red Cross of the Mid-Ohio Valley and the two volunteers who traveled to Kentucky to assist in the relief and clean-up efforts in the areas hit hard by last week's devastating tornadoes and storms. The area chapter sent a truck with supplies and two volunteers - Linda Bloomfield and Dennis Carpenter - to Louisville. Once there, the pair were assigned to an area where they were needed the most.
UP: To West Virginia University at Parkersburg for using a nearly $300,000 grant to develop collaborative programs in Roane and Ritchie counties to provide educational and training opportunities for residents in those counties. The grant, from the USDA Rural Utilities Services, will allow WVU-P to purchase video conferencing equipment to allow the school to offer classes for residents who will not have to leave their counties.
DOWN: To the Senate Judiciary Committee for rejecting a bill defining a public record as any written information prepared or received by a public body, if its content or context relates to the conduct of public business. Essentially, this bill would make any personal emails sent from a government account a public record. This is the second year lawmakers have defeated this attempt to clarify this needed change. Earlier this session, the House of Delegates unanimously approved the change. Legislators have sought to revise the definition since a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling found that the state's records law did not apply to personal emails sent by a sitting justice and a party in a case before the court.
UP: To the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources spring regulations meetings, one of which will be held at the Parkersburg Municipal Building from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday. The meetings give the state's sportsmen the opportunity to hear and comment on any proposed changes to the hunting and fishing regulations the DNR is considering. If area sportsmen want to make their opinions known, they should attend.
UP: To Parkersburg resident Terri Santiago, who will be honored by United Service Organization (USO) for her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Program and the USO. Santiago, whose son Sgt. Chris Santiago was severely injured in 2006 while stationed Iraq, has raised more than $42,000 for the program by selling copies of her cookbook, "Servings of Love for our Wounded Warriors." She will be honored on March 22 with the Col. John Gioia Patriot Award during the USO of Metropolitan Washington's 30th annual Awards Dinner. In addition, she will be the guest of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos at a reception at his home. Santiago is only the fourth civilian to receive this honor.
DOWN: To the "issues" that have prevented work from being done on the West Virginia 14 road project in Mineral Wells. West Virginia Division of Highways District 3 Engineer Mike Foley would not say what the problems are that halted the work, but it is unfortunate it happened during one of the mildest winters in many years. Hopefully, these "issues" will be resolved quickly and work resumed.