UP: To Belpre Volunteer Fire Department chief Bob Frank, who announced this week he will be retiring on May 31. During this past week at the Belpre City Council meeting, council president Will Neff announced the 40-year veteran of the fire department had turned in his resignation letter. Frank was named to take over for former chief Wesley Walker in October 2009.
UP: To Wood County resident Bob Enoch and other members of the Wood County Historic and Preservation Society for their tireless efforts to identify-and restore-the area's rural cemeteries. Many of these cemeteries have been long forgotten and obscured by brush and time. Enoch and fellow historic society member Paul Bibbee attended this past Monday's meeting of the Wood County Commission to detail the group's efforts and to ask for May to be recognized as Visit A Rural Cemetery Month to raise awareness and increase efforts to identify and clean up these rural, sometimes neglected gravesites, which was granted.
DOWN: To Kanawha County Republican Delegate Patrick Lane's attempt to add an amendment to the Home Rule bill to include barring any participating municipality from seeking to restrict the carrying of a firearm. A similar bill had passed earlier in the House but was not taken up by the Senate. Lane's attempt to bring this measure in through a back door failed-as it should have. It has nothing to do with the Home Rule bill and forced lawmakers into a needless debate over an issue that had no chance to become law when other important business needed their attention. This attempt to pack bills with amendments that have no chance of passing is used too often and keeps needed measures from being considered. Fortunately, this amendment was removed and passed by the House by a vote of 95-3.
DOWN: To the traffic problems that will be caused next week in both Parkersburg and Belpre when CSX Transportation replaces lines and track. While the work may be necessary, it certainly will be inconvenient for motorists, who should allow for more time to get to their destinations or find alternative routes. The work should be completed by 5 p.m. Friday.
UP: To the groundbreaking at the Belpre Historical Society's Farmers Castle Museum Education Center at 509 Ridge St. The work will eventually add a 50-foot by 50-foot Collections Preservation building which will house a larger meeting room, restrooms and provide additional space for artifacts, memorabilia, exhibits and educational displays. The groundbreaking on the new $236,000 addition is a fitting way to help Belpre celebrate its 224th anniversary.