Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To all of the celebrations commemorating West Virginia’s 150th birthday this past Thursday. The concerts and lectures were both fun and enlightening. A special salute needs to go to Oil and Gas director Dave McKain for his columns published in the newspaper the past several months detailing the county’s part in the march to statehood. Hopefully, this event will help more West Virginians, especially younger ones, to take an interest in the state’s history.

UP: To the approximately 450 volunteers from across the country participating in the annual Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp this past week. The mostly young volunteers spent the week painting 40 houses belonging to elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners.

UP: To renaming a bridge over Interstate 77 in Mineral Wells to honor a Parkersburg soldier who received a Medal of Honor during the Civil War. Union Army Sgt. Richard Bowry received the medal for capturing a Confederate battle flag during the Battle of Charlottesville, Va., on March 8, 1865. He was severely wounded in the battle. In attendance at the ceremony were several local politicians and Bowry’s great-great-grandson of Mineral Wells. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Huntington resident, Hershel “Woody” Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.

UP: To members of Girl Scouts Troop 1063 in Vienna for collecting more than 300 bears for the long-term care unit patients at Camden Clark Medical Center. While the girls may have been working to earn the Bronze Award, the highest achievement Junior Girl Scouts can receive, the bears made the hospital stay of many patients just a little better.

DOWN: To the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education for not voting on a plan that would give West Virginia University at Parkersburg property downtown. The property at Seventh and Juliana streets was given to WVU-Parkersburg in April by the Erickson Foundation. The property would be paved and turned into a metered parking lot used by WVU-P students taking classes downtown and by visitors. However, the transfer agreement must be approved by the state agency before any work can be done. For some reason, the CTC did not vote on the plan at its meeting last week. The next meeting isn’t until August. This would push work back into the fall.