DOWN: To the Wood County Board of Education for once again proving a budget is no impediment for approving new raises. This week, the board, on a 4-1 vote, approved more than $56,000 in supplemental pay raises for the eight central office employees. The time to discuss this matter was during the budget hearings. A thumbs up to John Marlow for recognizing this and voting against the raises.
DOWN: To Safariland Group from Jacksonville, Fla., for the decision to close the Elizabeth Mustang Survival plant and consolidate operations in Spencer. While the move might make business sense, it is a serious blow to Elizabeth's economy and tax base.
UP: To the Parkersburg Art Center for its annual arts program, Camp Creativity. The art camp program - which began this past Monday and runs for nine weeks with different age groups offered each week - helps children develop an early appreciation for the arts.
UP: To Wood County Habitat for Humanity's 67th house being built locally. A groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled to be held this past Thursday, but was postponed because of the rain until Friday. The home is being built at 13th and Dillaway. Habitat uses volunteer labor, donations and donated materials and land to keep homes affordable for those who wouldn't otherwise be able to own their own homes. Homebuyers are required to attend homebuyer education classes and complete "sweat equity" hours in working on local Habitat projects as well as their own. The homeowners pay a zero percent interest mortgage to buy the house from Habitat.