Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the Actors Guild of Parkersburg’s production of “Tuesdays With Morrie” for being named co-winner for best community theater performance at the regional Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, Ky., on March 6-10. The production, which features John Lee and Josh Martin in the lead roles, now advances to a national competition in Carmel, Ind., June 17-23. The Actors Guild in one of the real gems of the area and every production once again proves how much talent is in this area.

UP: To genealogist Jim Lockhart, his wife, Janet Lockhart, and area photographer and archivist Paul Borrelli for their efforts to preserve local history. The three, along with 48 other state residents, were honored in late February during the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s 2013 History Day program in Charleston. The three were recognized for their efforts last weekend at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History.

UP: To Marietta Third Ward Councilman Steve Thomas for his efforts to become an emergency medical technician. Thomas, who is legally blind, is taking classes at Washington State Community College, and is accompanied by his service dog Artemus. Thomas hopes to become an EMT because of his need for medical attention last June when he suffered a stroke. Congratulations to the councilman for being such an inspiration.

UP: To the faculty and students from West Virginia University’s Landscape Architecture School for their joint effort with Parkersburg officials to work on a gateway and way-finding plan for downtown Parkersburg. The students will inventory downtown streets and identify points of interest. The information will be used to develop a gateway and way-finding plan for downtown. The plan will be presented to officials later this spring. This is a win-win situation for both the city and the students who will gain practical experience.

UP: To Dr. Alex De Souza of Spencer for his efforts to raise money and awareness about skin cancer. De Souza recently returned from a 20-day, 10,000-mile helicopter trip, called “Flying to Cure on the Sunshine Road,” to nine U.S. states, nine Brazilian states and 13 countries to discuss skin fitness. He hopes to raise $1 million for the American Cancer Society for research by the end of the year. De Souza, a plastic surgeon, was joined on the trip by Dr. Jaime Moraes, a dermatologist from Brazil, and pilot Libano Rezende of Los Angeles.