Neighborly Competition; Spring Cleaning; and Birds

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’ notebooks.

Love Thy Neighbor

Two neighbors could face each other in the race to represent Ohio’s 6th District in the U.S. House.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, and Jennifer Garrison – a Democratic candidate for the seat – live on the same street in Marietta, Ohio. Garrison lists her address on campaign filings as 427 5th St.; and Johnson, 519 5th St.

Johnson is running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary, while Garrison faces opposition from Greg Howard – who lives in Albany, Ohio.

A Taste of Italy

Vince Gianangeli, the newly appointed director of the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, is known for his fiscal abilities. But he also has fine culinary skills, according to his wife, Patti.

That’s not surprising, since Gianangeli has spent much time at the Bellaire Sons of Italy learning the cooking secrets from members there.

Williams Forming Group

In an effort to develop relationships with residents living near the Oak Grove natural gas processing facility, Williams Energy is forming a neighborhood group. Company spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said the purpose of the group is to identify problems residents are having, while letting them know what to expect while the plant is going through its startup phase.

“If you are not talking to people, you don’t know about a problem,” she said.

Humphreys said anyone wishing to join the group should call her at 412-303-6676, or email her at helen.humphreys@williams.com.

Commission Donates

To help finish the new balcony level at the Strand Theatre in Moundsville, the Marshall County Commission committed to spent $11,000 to match a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Earlier this year, the Strand Theatre Preservation Society received an $86,750 grant from the division, but the organization must gain an equal amount of local matching funds to receive the state money. Dave Knuth, executive director of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the society, said Williams Energy has committed to match $24,000 of the funds.

Society members are working to install new restrooms, as well as a small conference room and snack bar area. These amenities will be in addition to the restrooms and snack area on the first floor.

For The Birds

It’s bird watching time at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville. The park has four stations of bird feeders for people to enjoy the area’s birds. Binoculars and cards are available in the park’s office to help identify the different species.

Honoring Our Veterans

A new veteran’s memorial in John Marshall High School displaying the photos of local veterans has been started in a hallway of the school. Although Principal Rick Jones said the memorial will be moving to a new location in the building soon, the memorial’s organizer, Hayden Blazer, has gotten a strong response from local veterans and families bringing in photos.

Spring Cleaning

With spring apparently here to stay, the vacant lot where the Imperial Pools building once stood in East Wheeling is in need of some attention. A quick grass cut would go a long way toward improving the property’s generally unkempt appearance.

City officials seem to be fighting an uphill battle against those who neglect their properties, many of which eventually become the taxpayers’ responsibility when the owner simply walks away – with the Imperial Pools building, demolished last year with public funds, as a prime example. If they expect residents to take care of their property, it would seem prudent for city leaders to set a good example by caring for those for which they’ve accepted responsibility.

Homage to History

Last week, the Wheeling Historic Landmarks Commission accepted its first applicant for its new historic plaque program. It was a home at 1900 Warwood Ave. owned by James Mauck Jr. and will soon receive a plaque bearing its date of construction and the names of its original owners.

To qualify, buildings must be at least 50 years old, well maintained, a good example of a particular architectural style and have some connection to an important person, event or group in the city’s history.

All too often, we hear about old houses that have slipped into disrepair and become eyesores or safety hazards, so it’s nice to see those who take pride in their property receive some recognition.

Forms are available at the Economic and Community Development Department on the third floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St. For more information, call 304-234-3701.

Shout It Out Loud

Some residents of East Wheeling around 14th and Jacob streets behaved badly Wednesday after a police officer shot and killed a dog.

A volatile situation emerged when an unidentified man arrived on scene, wrapped the animal in blankets, loaded it into the trunk of his vehicle and drove away. During the process, he shouted profanities toward police officers and media members photographing the episode. A woman accompanying the man also shouted obscenities and threatened physical harm to onlookers before being pushed into the vehicle.

One reason they were so upset is the officer did not call Ohio County Animal Control to deal with the animal. The story may have had a better ending if county animal control agents had jurisdiction within city limits.