Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To four West Virginia elected officials-Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Auditor Glen Gainer, and Treasurer John Perdue – for taking part in a discussion about how residents can avoid becoming victims of a scam. The event, sponsored by the local AARP chapter, was needed because, as Morissey said, his office “literally see(s) a new scam in the state of West Virginia every day.” People who think they have been either a target or a victim of a scam, should contact the attorney general’s office at, or call the state Consumer Protection Anti-Trust Division at 800-368-8808.

UP: To Marietta College for its plan to install more than 100 additional solar panels on two buildings, the Pioneer House, which is also known as the Sustainable Lifestyle House, and 100 panels on the McCoy Athletic Facility. This project is related to last year’s solar panel installation when the college utilized a grant through the Dominion Foundation to install photovoltaic solar panels and a solar hot water system in the Pioneer House. It is anticipated the project will be completed by early summer.

DOWN: To the 8 percent tuition increase approved this past Wednesday by the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Governors. Yes, the state’s budget cuts and a decrease in employment have hurt, but no matter how outgoing WVU-P President Marie Foster Gnage tries to downplay the increase, it will hurt students who are attending the school.

UP: To area groups’ and businesses’ participation in the pinwheel garden program, a way to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. More than three million pinwheels have been distributed nationwide since April 2008 when the national program started. Locally, employees of United Bank, who have been volunteering time and concrete support to families served by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, are maintaining a pinwheel garden at the park at Fifth and Market streets, in downtown Parkersburg. To learn more about child abuse prevention activities in West Virginia, visit

DOWN: To the recent discovery of three counterfeit $100 bills at both the Parkersburg and Vienna Kmarts. Police suspect the passing of these bills is part of a larger counterfeit operation coming to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Anyone suspecting they have received counterfeit bills should immediately call local police department. The Parkersburg Police can be reached at 304-424-8444 and the Vienna Police can be reached at 304-295-8563.