Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Marine Sgt. Chris Santiago and his family who received the keys to their new home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that was built through Homes for Our Troops. The house in Queen Anne, Md., was constructed with features that allow Santiago to move around easily inside. The 2002 graduate of Parkersburg High School was severely injured on Sept. 16, 2006, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq. Santiago lost his legs below the knees and suffered major injuries to his left arm in the explosion. Santiago works in the Washington Navy Yard and is attending college.

DOWN: To the drivers who continue to ignore the signs and barricades on Farson Street, creating a dangerous situation. The project is being undertaken to help businesses and residents in that part of town. Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said the issues with drivers not paying attention to the signage or barricades began almost the moment work started. He warns drivers who ignore the warning will face fines if caught.

UP: To a ceremony held Friday that renamed the DuPont Road Bridge, which carries West Virginia 68 over U.S. 50 on Corridor D, as the “Navy Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Heath Null Memorial Bridge.” Null, a Parkersburg South High School graduate, died during Operation Enduring Freedom on Aug 6, 2011, when the helicopter he was in crashed after being fired upon. Null, an EOD/Naval Special Warfare Development Group member, was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, one with Valor; two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Valor; three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one with Valor; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal; two Iraq Campaign Medals; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; the Rifle Marksmanship Medal; the Pistol Marksmanship Medal; the Bronze Star Medal with Valor; and the Purple Heart.

UP: To the start of the 2013-14 school year. We hope it is a good year for students and their parents, and remind drivers to drive with caution when children and school buses are present.