UP: To the student volunteers who spent a good part of this past Wednesday filling backpacks with back-to-school supplies. The program, sponsored by the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, will send more than 1,000 age-appropriate backpacks to school children in Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Doddridge, Wirt and Wood counties, Belpre and Little Hocking. This annual program goes a long way to help many deserving children in the area. This is the sixth year the United Way Alliance has done the program, taking over from the GE Elfun Society.
UP: To Mountwood Park for offering a movie night at the park. The drive-in style movie - complete with a concession stand - will debut at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The $5 admission brings a drink, popcorn and family friendly movie. With this, the annual Volcano Days festival and the recent archaeological dig, Mountwod Park is continuing to forge its identity as more than just a place to take a hike or ride bikes.
UP: To Wood County Habitat for Humanity volunteer Marlin Buckmaster who was presented the Ray of Light Award on Thursday afternoon. Buckmaster, of Vienna, has helped with the construction of more than 30 homes with the local organization since he began volunteering following his retirement from DuPont in 1997. Appropriately, Buckmaster received his recognition in the construction zone of what will be the 66th local Habitat house, at Dillaway Street near 13th Street. Buckmaster and his wife Barbara will be moving to Indiana in the upcoming week, where he will continue his volunteering with Habitat.
DOWN: To the graffiti problem that continues to plague Parkersburg. However, the police may have taken a big bite out of this problem with the arrest of Roger L. Riffle, 33, of Parkersburg, after detectives and agents with the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on his Market Street apartment. According to the criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court by police detective Matt Eichhorn, between June and July of this year, Riffle defaced the property at 1122 Market St. by painting graffiti on the buildings. Riffle is facing a felony destruction of property charge. Police expect more arrests will be coming.