Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To lifelong Marietta resident and World War II veteran Randall Hunter for receiving the Legion of Honor medal-France’s highest distinction for extraordinary contributions to that country. The 88-year-old Hunter also received two Bronze Stars during the war. Hunter was recognized by the French government for his action in the Battle of the Colmar Pocket in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. The casualty rate in this action was high for both American forces and the French. It was the last action of the war fought on French soil.

UP: To Start Talking!, an Ohio youth drug abuse prevention initiative, that held its regional launch Tuesday at Marietta High School. The program, which began in the state on Jan. 8, is an attempt to get children, parents and educators talking about substance abuse. Start Talking! is comprised of four programs to educate and create programming for drug abuse and prevention.

UP: To Wood County Technical Center welding student Tori Baker for winning a gold medal as the best student welder in the state at the West Virginia SkillsUSA Conference in late March at Winfield High School. The 18-year-old second-year welding student is now expected to compete at the SkillsUSA National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., in June.

DOWN: To the city of Vienna’s proposed six-page Freedom of Information Act ordinance that passed its first reading at Thursday’s Vienna City Council meeting. Because of the increased number of FOI requests being made not only in Vienna but to all government entities, the mayor and council are not wrong in wanting a structured way to handle them. And asking reasonable fees for paper and printing costs is also understandable. However, requiring citizens to wade through six pages of rules, and charging them for time over 10 minutes it may take to gather the information, Vienna officials seem more interested in discouraging people from making a request than getting them the information they seek.

DOWN: To the two men who are believed to have stolen nearly $100 in donations from the Oil and Gas Museum on Monday. It is believed that one of the men distracted a greeter and assistant curator while the other stole the donations. The men also are suspected of stealing money from the museum last week. Parkersburg Police are investigating and have suspects in the case.