UP: To the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley for exceeding its fundraising goal for the 2011-12 campaign. Area residents and businesses gave $777,091, which exceeded the original goal by $62,091, executive director Joyce Mather said. The donations help many of the area's nonprofit organizations do the good work they accomplish during the year.
UP: To the River City Runners and Walkers Club for its 10-week beginners clinic, an event that tries to motivate people to lead more active lives. The clinic, now in its 25th year, includes guest speakers lecturing on nutrition and proper running techniques, and leads to participants competing in a 5K race at the end.
UP: To discussions that could eventually bring a Frontier League Baseball team and a new facility to Parkersburg. Mayor Bob Newell and a delegation will travel to Washington, Pa., next week to meet with executives with the Washington Wild Things. The Frontier League is expanding to Bridgeport, and officials want to add another team in the state. Hopefully, this will bring minor league baseball to Parkersburg.
DOWN: To statistics that show West Virginia has the fourth-highest number of fire deaths in the nation - a rate nearly double the national average. The statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration are from 2008, the most recent year available, but things haven't gotten much better: since January, 36 people have died as a result of fire, including two young children in Parkersburg. According to Parkersburg fire Chief Eric Taylor, the single most contributing factor in these heartbreaking incidents is the lack of a working smoke detector.
UP: To the nearly 100 volunteers expected at the April 14 "Make Mountwood Shine" clean-up day. Volunteers will help beautify the park and get it ready for the upcoming season. The cleanup will focus on the heavily used areas at the park, such as the playgrounds, the lake and the marina areas.
UP: To the opening of the Major League Baseball season and the many warm summer evenings of enjoyment that season brings to its fans.