UP: To the opening of the summer tourist season at Blennerhassett Island. This past Wednesday was the opening of the island and the mansion to tours and 58 visitors rode the paddlewheeler from Point Park to the island. The opening of the island is always a sign that summer is on its way.
UP: To Sue Patalano, who has served as not only the administrator for Wood County Project Lifesaver since its inception in 2005, but as the state coordinator, as well. Patalano announced this week she will retire by the end of the year. Project Lifesaver assists families and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's, Autism, Down Syndrome and other cognitive disabilities who are prone to wander. A radio transmitter on a bracelet allows clients to be tracked if they do wander away from home. Project Lifesaver has helped find several missing people since the program's inception. Wood County Deputy Sheriff Brian Swiger, who will assume Patalano's duties upon her retirement, said she has been "the heart and soul" of the program. Congratulations to Patalano who helped bring this lifesaving program to Wood County. Since its inception here, it has spread to 40 other counties in West Virginia.
DOWN: To the two people arrested for the beating and attempted robbery of a 79-year-old man on Thursday. Matthew Edward Depew, 21, and Amber Nicole Pickens, 27, are accused of trying to rob 79-year-old-old Homer Wilson. Wilson suffered severe injuries in the beating and is recovering at home. Depew is no stranger to trouble. In 2011, he was charged with possession of a gun taken from the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley. In February, Depew was granted a motion to modify his bond on the charge by being removed from home confinement. If found guilty of this abhorrent crime, these two should be put in prison for as long as the law allows.
To West Virginia poet laureate Mark Harshman's visit Tuesday as part of West Virginia University at Parkersburg's sesquicentennial speaker series. Harshman, who has been the state's poet laureate since May 2012, said the reading was set up to honor, in part, his appointment as poet laureate and for him to speak with area school children in writing workshops and a professional writers' critique group.
UP: To Williamstown, which on Tuesday celebrated its 29th consecutive year as a member of Tree City USA, the longest consecutive period for any city in West Virginia. This past Tuesday, city officials and several local residents gathered to plant a new dogwood tree in the 500 block of Cherry Avenue in honor of the event.