Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To West Virginia University at Parkersburg and area libraries for working together on a “Big Read” project to raise awareness of literature and encourage reading. WVU-Parkersburg received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host the project. The college is partnering with the Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library system, Vienna Public Library, Jackson County Public Library, Ritchie County Public Library, Roane County Public Library, Pleasants County Public Library, Sistersville Public Library and Dora B. Woodyard Memorial Library in Elizabeth to hold book discussions and other events throughout the region. It is hoped the Big Read will encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

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UP: To Marietta’s fourth annual Ashlee Scott Memorial Parade Your Paws Walk, scheduled this morning at Muskingum Park. The event is a fundraiser for the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley and will include a pet parade, costume contests and a raffle. Ashley Scott, who died at the age of 38, was a passionate animal lover. The past events have raised between $3,000 and $4,000 for the shelter.

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UP: To this past Tuesday’s open house at the Marietta Memorial Health System’s second of four planned campus buildings at its Belpre location. The Memorial Health System is a nonprofit health system governed by a volunteer board of community members and is designed to provide needed services for residents of this region. It is comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities and a retirement community.

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DOWN: To new state requirements for hiring teachers could end up costing Wood County Schools thousands of dollars to pay teachers to attend interviews. The new policies were mandated by the West Virginia Legislature and allow for input from teachers and faculty senate groups. In some cases as many as 11 teachers could participate in the hiring process at a school. Those teachers are to be paid for as much as three hours per interview for their work. Considering that Wood County Schools had about 500 vacant professional and service positions to fill prior to the school year, had 169 applicants for just one position, this mandate could end up costing the school system taxpayers thousands of dollars.