Workers at the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, Texas, are focused on their mission to help cancer patients, despite the drug allegations and controversy swirling around the foundation's founder, said Ryan Gerrard of Wood County.
Gerrard, a senior at West Virginia University and Parkersburg South High School graduate, is a fall intern at the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which was created in 1997 by cancer survivor and cyclist Lance Armstrong and has raised millions of dollars in the fight against cancer. Armstrong recently resigned as chairman of the foundation, known as Livestrong, and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles following allegations of performance-enhancing drug usage.
"Everyone here understands our role ... that it is bigger than Lance Armstrong," Gerrard said. "My job has not been affected by anything that has happened. I am still working with the same people."
Gerrard and others at the foundation send out information to help cancer patients and those who work with these survivors.
"It has still been a good experience for me" working at Livestrong, Gerrard said. "It has been interesting timing for me as an intern."
Gerrard said he believes the foundation's work as a resource and counseling center is important, making it easy for him to go in to the office. Despite Armstrong's personal troubles, the foundation has maintained its support among many people, Gerrard said.
Tim and Joanna Byler of Middlefield, Ohio, were on the wrong sternwheeler, heading the wrong way on the Ohio River.
Then, a local riverboat captain came to the Bylers' rescue and got them turned around in the right direction.
The mixup occurred Sunday afternoon while the Bylers, who live 35 miles east of Cleveland, were on a weekend trip to Marietta and Parkersburg to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. They had shopped in downtown Marietta Saturday and planned to visit Blennerhassett Island for the first time on Sunday.
The Bylers stopped at the Blennerhassett Museum, where they were told to go to Point Park to board the next sternwheeler to the island, Tim told me.
Tim said he thought it was odd that no one asked for their tickets as they boarded the sternwheeler around 1:30 p.m. He also was surprised that food was being offered on the short trip to the island.
As it turned out, the Ohio couple boarded the P.A. Denny instead of the island sternwheeler, the Island Belle.
The P.A. Denny, piloted by owner Capt. "Heck" Heckert of Parkersburg, had stopped at Point Park to pick up friends for a fall foliage cruise on the Ohio River.
The P.A. Denny was headed north and was near Neal Island at Vienna when Tim Byler thought he might be on the wrong boat. He expressed his concerns with the captain in the pilot house.
Heckert turned the sternwheeler around and headed back downriver to drop the Bylers off on Blennerhassett Island. The P.A. Denny proceeded to the southern tip of Blennerhassett Island before heading back to Point Park and its dock along the Little Kanawha River.
Heckert said it was the first time he had stopped at Blennerhassett Island since the "ferryboat war" of 25 years ago.
"I never dreamed my next stop on the island would be by accident," Heckert said.
Firehouse Subs and Great Clips salon will be moving into the retail center being constructed at 107 Grand Central Ave. in Vienna, where Rally's hamburgers once stood. This news comes from Pat Minnite III, a partner with The PM Company, which is handling construction and development for the project. Minnite told me the building will be ready for occupancy by Christmas. Firehouse Subs, founded in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1994 by former firefighting brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, has 548 restaurants in 32 states and Puerto Rico, including one in Charleston. The "fast, casual" restaurant is famous for its steamed subs of meats and cheeses, said Carly Kirkland of The Zimmerman Agency, public relations firm for the company. Kirkland said Firehouse Subs will be open by the end of the year or early next year in Vienna. Starbucks is not moving into the complex, Minnite said.
Contact Paul LaPann at email@example.com