UP: To outgoing Boys & Girls Executive Director Mike Flanagan who is retiring. Friends held a retirement party for Flanagan this past Wednesday to show their appreciation for the work he has done for the organization. Flanagan has been the executive director since 1994, and under his leadership the club has expanded activities offered for area youth. We wish Flanagan happiness and the best for his successor Ben Shuman.
UP: To the anticipated opening by the end of the year of Johnson T. Janes Park. The 80-foot bridge over Worthington Creek is the biggest remaining obstacle to the opening of the 100-acre park that will be a wonderful addition for area outdoor lovers. Kim Coram, editor and co-owner of Online Physical Activity Magazine, said the progress of the park has been made possible through the help of volunteers. She also is seeking more volunteers to help with the cleanup of the area.
DOWN: To the people responsible for three suspicious fires and a drive-by shooting this past week that kept firefighters and law enforcement officers busy. Fire crews battled two suspicious fires on Lynn and Swann streets early Thursday morning. Meanwhile, the Parkersburg police were investigating a shooting early Thursday in which a gunman fired at least eight shots into an apartment complex on Grafton Street. At least four rounds entered the interior of an upstairs apartment at the site. Fortunately no one was injured. We hope these crimes are solved and those responsible are arrested.
UP: To the United Way Alliance backpack program, which provides 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to at-need children throughout the region. In addition to the United Way Alliance, the long-running program also receives funding from The Ross Foundation, Belpre Area Community Development Foundation and Our Community's Foundation. The supplies are donated by area businesses. The packs were filled Wednesday by dozens of volunteers who spent five hours on the project.
DOWN: To the lag in work at 36th Street and Emerson Avenue that has been going on for months, with little to show other than backed up traffic and increased congestion at the busy intersection. It's long past time for the work to be finished.