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UP: To a possible move by the Parkersburg Utility Board to consider using the Wood County 911 Center’s alert system for emergency notifications, rather than paying a private company an annual fee of nearly $5,000. “The Wood County 911 Center will do that for us at no charge,” Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce told the board. A sum like $5,000 a year might seem like small potatoes when it comes to municipal finances, but every little bit adds up, and it is good to know officials are looking at all options when it comes to saving money.

UP: To the start of another regular legislative session in West Virginia. Political season in the Mountain State is always exciting and enlightening. May this year’s session be conducted in a spirit of doing what is best for the people of West Virginia — not special interests or larger agendas; and continuing the effort to reduce the fraud and waste in our state government that serves no one but King Bureaucracy. More than one lawmaker has remarked he or she expects this session to be relatively quiet, because it is an election year and no one wants to rock the boat. Let those folks be reminded some voters are still hoping very much that someone — anyone — will have the will to rock the boat anyway, if it is what is right for West Virginians.

UP: To those who celebrated the New Year at the Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home’s annual sober New Year’s Eve party. “It was a beautiful thing to see everyone come together and bring in the new year happy and healthy,” said Executive Director Patrice Pooler. Kudos to those who, whether sober for one day or ten years, have taken the steps that gave them much more to celebrate than simply a new year.

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