REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: W.Va. Insulted Again, Spring Break in Peru, Going to Dogs

Editor’s note: Reporters are constantly surveying their surroundings, and in doing so often turn up many tidbits of news that don’t make it into the daily newspaper.

This space serves as a spot to aggregate and publish those items that otherwise would stay locked away forever in the reporters’ notebook.

Insulted Again

Residents of Wheeling and beyond were buzzing last week about the way the city was portrayed on Wednesday’s episode of “Criminal Minds” on CBS.

The story line centered around murders connected to a modern day Hatfield and McCoys-type feud. The characters had thick backwoods accents and used uneducated dialogue. Additionally, the character of “Wheeling’s police chief” was dressed in a multi-colored flannel shirt with gold officer bars on the collar.

Another insult shared with a national audience came from CBS announcers last week when West Liberty University competed for an NCAA Division II men’s national basketball title in Evansville, Ind. The talking heads said WLU is located near Wheeling, Virginia.

Two insults within a week.

Not Typical Spring Break

Cecelia Favede, the daughter of Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede and Dr. Lee Favede of St. Clairsville, spent her spring break last week in Lima, Peru, shadowing health care professionals there. The younger Favede is a student at Miami University of Ohio, and aspires to become a doctor.

Ginny Favede said Cecelia was very much taken with the children there, and among her duties were helping the children learn to brush their teeth.

Going to the Dogs?

Spring has officially sprung and so have the pit bulls. Animal control officials in Wheeling have been called out numerous times in the past week to chase down dogs running loose. In one instance last week, a pit bull was menacing a group of Mountaineer Gas Co. workers on a job site. Not a good thing for anyone working outdoors.

In Wheeling, pit bulls, canary dogs and American bulldogs are classified as vicious and their owners must pay $5 for a tag and renew it each year. Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs who fail to register or place the tag on the animals face a potential $500 fine for each day they do not comply with the law. Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs must maintain at least $100,000 in liability insurance, keep the dog on a leash and muzzled when not properly confined and prominently display signs warning passersby of the animal’s presence.

Elephant in the Park

A life-sized elephant sculpture that will serve as the centerpiece for the future Heritage Port Park and Sculpture Garden at 11th and Main streets in downtown Wheeling is under construction by local artist Jeff Forster. It’s an homage to the days when circus elephants routinely crossed the Suspension Bridge.

No word yet, though, on when the giant pachyderm will actually have a home. Three years after it was first announced, construction of the park has yet to go out for bid. Elephants never forget, but can the same be said for city officials?

On the Concert Tour

Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas has been spending much time “with the bands” this year.

Thomas said since January, he has seen The Eagles in concert twice – once in Charlotte, N.C., and once in Pittsburgh. He took in the Heart and Three Doors Down concert in Columbus, the Doobie Brothers in Wheeling and plans to see Joe Bonamassa in Nashville in the coming weeks.

He also has tickets for upcoming performances by Boston, Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket.