UP: To the 2013 Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, which runs this weekend at the Ohio River Levee in Marietta. The annual festival offers a glimpse of yesterday when the river was the main route and the sternwheelers were the main mode of transportation along that route. The festival continues through Sunday.
UP: To the Smoot Theatre's Happy Birthday West Virginia program scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. The program will feature author Mark Harshman, West Virginia's Poet Laureate. Along with Harshman, who will read to children, the program also will include hammered dulcimer music by Scott Cain.
DOWN: To the $176,000 in taxpayer-financed salary and benefits paid to former Parkersburg Police Officer Floyd Holliday during the three years the case was in the court system. The city was obligated to pay Holliday after his 2010 firing was overturned by the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission. The city was even forced to include Holliday in a pay raise given to officers earlier in the year. Wood County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Reed ruled last week the police commission "abused its discretion" and upheld Holliday's firing.
UP: To the kindergarten students at Emerson Elementary School in Parkersburg who have previously collected tabs for the past 12 years for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Charleston and Morgantown. This year, however, the money raised from recycling the aluminum tabs will be sent to help the Columbus Ronald McDonald House to show support for Ashley Skinner, a former Emerson kindergarten teacher, now teaching at Williamstown Elementary. Skinner's 3-month-old daughter, Paisley, was recently treated for seizures at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. Skinner and her husband were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House during Paisley's treatment. The child has since been able to return home. To donate, people can drop off money at any area McDonald's in the change dispensers by the cash registers, or can bring the tabs to Emerson Elementary where they will be placed in a large barrel and later recycled.