Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To all of the participants in the annual Relay for Life fundraiser that began on Friday evening and winds up today at noon at both City Park in Parkersburg and Civitan Park in Belpre. The participants are taking part in the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. More than $3 billion has been raised for cancer research by these participants since Relay became an annual event in the mid-1980s.

UP: To Washington, W.Va., resident Roger Davis,whose photo of his grandchildren was chosen as the cover shot for the June issue of Wonderful West Virginia magazine. The photo, one of two taken by Davis and his wife Julie, was part of a “Day in the Life” issue that features about 100 photos from readers, chosen by the magazine staff from more than 5,000 entries submitted by 1,000 photographers. The requirement was that each photo be taken on Sept. 15 and capture a moment of West Virginia life.

DOWN: To Ember S. Stafford for making false reports to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation into the death of Jaleayah Davis. Stafford’s unfounded claims and counterclaims forced detectives to expend time and resources to track them down and added greatly to the social media rumors surrounding the death. Stafford pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of making false statements and was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500.

UP: To Dara, a 2-year-old female German Shepherd, who became the newest member of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department this past Thursday. Dara and her handler, Deputy Zach Schaad, become the department’s second K-9 team, joining Deputy Mike Deem and his 4-year-old male German Shepherd, Benji. Schaad and Dara were sworn-in after completing a a six-week training course.

UP: To Dillon Muhly-Alexander, of West Union, a student at Doddridge County High School, who was among five West Virginia students named as West Virginia University Foundation Scholars. Muhly-Alexander, the son of Matthew Alexander and Linda Muhly, is the first Foundation Scholar from Doddridge County High School. He hopes to study International Studies at WVU. The Foundation Scholarship is the top award offered by WVU’s undergraduate scholarship program. Students must be from West Virginia, possess a minimum 3.8 GPA and achieve a minimum composite score of 30 on the ACT or 1,340 on the SAT college entrance exams. He will receive full tuition and fees, plus room and board and books for four years.

UP: To all of the area high school seniors who will be graduating in the coming days. We hope they are all successful in fulfilling their dreams and wish them luck. Congratulations.