UP: Looking back on 2012, I believe I will have to give Mayor Newell and all those who made it possible a high five for getting Point Park on the river rehabilitated. It looks great and provides residents with a clean, enjoyable and attractive recreational place on the river to walk, fish or just ride your bike.
(Submitted by Hal Casey of Parkersburg)
UP: To the movie projects that have been filmed here and in Ritchie County. "Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies" has been filming in various locations in Parkersburg this week, using several locals in the "zombie" roles. The film features real-life wrestling stars and actors, including "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, WWE wrestler Matt Hardy, former Olympian Kurt Angle, 2009 Penthouse Pet and VH1 reality star Taya Parker, ECW champion Shane Douglas and Howard Stern Woman of the Year Reby Sky. The other movie, "Hollow Creek", wrapped up filming this week in Ritchie and Wyoming counties. Donna Linsell, a Parkersburg resident and in-line producer for the film, said the story centers on a best-selling author, Blake Blackman, who was seeking inspiration for his overdue horror novel and retreats to a remote cabin in the Appalachian Mountains accompanied by his girlfriend. After a child abduction, the author becomes the prime suspect.
UP: To the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce's decision to honor longtime businesswoman Marie Gustke for her service to the community. Gustke, 86, who owned four Belpre businesses during her 66 years in business, will be feted Jan. 26 at the Rockland United Methodist Church. This is a worthy honor for a resident who did so much for Belpre.
DOWN: To the people who for whatever reason feel compelled to call in bomb threats to schools. This has happened at schools all over the state and, unfortunately, in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The only way to combat this stupidity is to punish those who are caught. A Wirt County High School student was recently expelled for a year after confessing to calling in a bomb threat there last month. The student remains in custody pending a circuit court hearing next week. This student needs to receive a stiff sentence, not necessarily to set an example, but because of the disruption this lawless act caused.