UP: To Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin for his appointment to the FBI's National Academy for training. Martin will leave next month for a 10-week course in Quantico, Va. This is a wonderful opportunity not only for Martin but for the city. The criticism from some - including current Parkersburg City Council member and mayoral candidate Sharyn Tallman - that there is some underhanded political reason for this move is ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is the kind of noise that occurs every election. The fact is the FBI only holds these classes four times a year, and the agency chooses the candidates who will attend - not the other way around. If Martin wanted to attend this training, he has to go when the FBI has an opening.
UP: To Friday evening's opening of the high school football season.
UP: To Wood County Habitat for Humanity's dedication of the group's 62nd home on Aug. 18. The home, on Lubeck Avenue, will now belong to Larry and Cassie Richards along with their 3-year-old son Nate. Congratulations to the organization and its volunteers for the good work it does, and to the Richards family, who put in 14 months of "sweat equity" during the construction.
UP: To the opening of the new school year. This past week saw the return of students to schools around the Mid-Ohio Valley.
DOWN: To a state law that allows striking workers to apply for unemployment benefits. On Aug. 5, nearly 700 workers at Ravenswood's Constellium aluminum rolling mill plant walked off the job to go on strike. This past week, the strikers applied for unemployment compensation benefits, which are funded by employers. Three administrative law judges appointed by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review will make a determination on the request in the near future. We think unemployment benefits should go to workers who unwillingly lose their jobs and not go to workers who willingly walk off the job.