Paisley’s Selfie; A Drilling Dispute; and Closed Doors

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.

A Selfie Statement

Sometimes “when you’re a celebrity,” you opt to not say adios to sad reality.

Glen Dale native and country music star Brad Paisley did just that this week – and the good news is he may already have the cover photo in place for his next album.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church were picketing along the side of the road last week near a venue in Kansas where Paisley was to perform that night. The church, based in Topeka, Kan., is known for protesting events and disagreeing with individuals’ religious, sexual or other beliefs, and have also protested military funerals. Members of the church turned out before Paisley’s concert with signs stating such things as “God Hates Drunks.”

Paisley decided not to pass the group, but instead seized the opportunity to stop and talk to the protesters. Apparently he charmed them enough that when he took out his cellphone, many gathered behind him to be in Paisley’s selfie.

His cross-eyed look in the photo pretty much speaks for itself.

California Dreamin’

West Liberty University President Robin Capehart and daughter Emily made the rounds in Southern California last week.

On Sunday, they attended Pat Boone’s 80th birthday party at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles.

Then on Monday night, they were present in San Diego as the Pirates defeated the Padres 10-3 in what was the longest nine-inning game in Padres history. The game lasted four hours, four minutes.

Emily Capehart recently graduated from Wheeling Park High School.

Tree Trimming

Visitors to downtown Wheeling will notice the trees that line both Main and Market Streets are receiving a little bit of sprucing up.

Crews with Steve’s Tree Service of Moundsville have been trimming the trees for the city of Wheeling over the past week along Main street. Crews are expected to finish the work this week as the job typically takes about 10 days according to the tree service Owner Steve Katz.

Falling Slowly

Recently, the elevator at Wheeling’s City-County Building seems to be on the fritz. On the way down, the elevator always stops on the second floor, whether anyone has pressed the button or not. More often than not, no one is waiting to get on when the doors open.

Either something’s amiss, or the ghosts of public officials past have taken up residence on the second floor.

Which Came First?

Range Resources is often credited with drilling the first-ever Marcellus Shale natural gas well, in Mount Pleasant Township, Pa., in 2004. But there seems to be some dispute over that fact, it was revealed during this week’s DUG East Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh.

Magnum Hunter CEO Gary Evans claims the true first Marcellus well was drilled the previous year, 2003, by a company his firm acquired several years ago known as Triad Hunter. That well was located in Noble County, Ohio.

Seriously, guys, can’t we all just get along?

Super Charged Fan

Ohio County Magistrate Court Clerk Jerry Ames Jr. is somewhat of an odd man out when it comes to his loyalty to a professional sports team. While the majority of Ohio Valley residents are Pittsburgh Steelers or Cleveland Browns fans, Ames rides the San Diego Chargers bandwagon.

A full-size Chargers’ helmet, complete with blue paint and the iconic lightning bolt, rests on his desk in the basement of the Magistrate Court building.

Ames says he was drawn to the Chargers as a child when he admired the lightning bolt on their helmets.

Behind Closed Doors

Ohio County Judge James Mazzone took the unusual step of clearing the courtroom Monday during a pre-trial hearing for Craig Tyler Peacock, whose murder trial starts Monday.

Nobody would comment on what was discussed behind the closed doors. Apparently the courtroom sound system was malfunctioning because a raised voice from Defense Attorney Robert McCoid carried into the hallway.

Court proceedings do not usually go black unless the matter at hand involves a juvenile, but, for whatever reason the hush-hush session was ordered so McCoid and a prosecutor could duke it out in private. The answer may come through testimony this week during the trial.

Family Over Politics

Ohio County Republican Executive Committee member Susan Oglinsky Cookman has requested a leave of absence from her duties to serve as campaign manager for her father-in-law, state Sen. Donald Cookman, who is a Democrat.

Cookman, D-Hampshire, faces opposition from Republican Charles Trump IV of Berkeley Springs in November’s general election, putting his daughter-in-law in a tricky situation.

“In the best tradition of Republican and conservative values, I find that until the general election of 2014 is concluded I must put my family first and request a leave of absence from the Ohio County Republican Executive Committee until December 2014,” Cookman wrote in a letter to state Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas.

Biking For A Cause

Joelle Kidder, a member of the 2014 inaugural class of physician assistant studies graduates at West Liberty University, will be virtually bicycling in AIDS/LifeCycle- a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles from June 1-7 by raising awareness and funds for those with HIV/AIDS.

As of May 29, Kidder has raised over $5,000 of her $7,500 goal. Donations can help provide prevention options, testing, counseling or medication. Kidder believes that even though people are not able to cure HIV/AIDS right now, it is possible to stop the spread of the virus.

Visit www.tofighthiv.org/goto/joellemkidder to donate or learn more.