UP: To the New Year arrivals in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Isabella Jolea Dickel of Parkersburg and Casen Amos of Marietta. Both were the first babies born in the new year, with Isabella arriving at 3:49 a.m., while Casen was born at 4:40 a.m., both at the Memorial Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center. Isabella is the daughter of Kayla Brock and Tommy Dickel of Parkersburg and joins sister Addison, 5. Casen is the son of Brianna and Justin Amos, of Marietta. He has a sister Kinley, 2, and brother Brayden, 10. Congratulations to the families on their New Year's bundle of joy.
DOWN: To the increasing number of DUI arrests in Parkersburg. On New Year's Eve, four people were arrested by police, bringing the total for the year to approximately 190, the highest in five years. Despite the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by drunken drivers, some people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking, thinking it will be fine. It's not. And if people continue to drive in this condition, we hope the arrests will continue.
UP: To members of the Moose Riders, a philanthropic motorcycle organization within the Moose Lodge family, who gave $3,100 to U.S. Army Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry to help with the construction of his "smart" home in Reno. The group's donation will go with the many other donations to help Hockenberry, who lost both legs and his left arm in the blast of an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in June 2011, move into his own home to help him live more independently. Congratulations to the organization for helping with this worthy cause.
DOWN: To Wood County commissioners Wayne Dunn and Steve Gainer for voting to eliminate several of the commission's Thursday meetings, thus limiting the time residents have to air concerns with their elected county officials. The commission will meet Mondays from 9 a.m. until noon, and the first Thursday of the month for agenda items and planning, and the third Thursday for probate. The second and fourth Thursday will only be used if necessary. Dunn said changes should be made if they benefit the government and the community. However, it seems these changes benefit the commissioners much more than the community.