WHEELING - The annual cleanup of the Ohio River's banks from Pennsylvania to Illinois sometimes yields interesting lost items - including a class ring returned to its owner 20 years after it was lost, a prosthetic ear and an uncashed check for $55,000.
Those items and more have been discovered during past River Sweeps, said Jeanne Ison, project director for the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. This year's sweep is set for June 15 and locally will kick off at various times and spots along the river across the Ohio Valley. Volunteers will receive a free River Sweep T-shirt for their efforts. Bags will be provided, but people may want to bring a sturdy pair of gloves to use.
West Virginia meeting times and locations include:
- Brooke County - 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Wellsburg at the historic wharf, the 12th Street boat ramp, 17th Street playground and 5th Ward playground;
- Hancock County - 9 a.m. in New Cumberland at 103 Harrison St., Kennedy Marina and Steubenville Marina and 10 a.m. at Edgewater Park;
- Ohio County - 8:30 a.m. in Wheeling at WesBanco Arena;
- Tyler County - 9 a.m. to noon at the Paden City boat dock; and
- Wetzel County - 10 a.m. to noon, New Martinsville at the old ferry landing behind the county courthouse.
Ohio meeting times and locations include:
- Belmont County - 8 a.m. to noon in Shadyside near the Ohio 7 south exit pull-off area near the mouth of Wegee Creek, the Pike Island Lock and Dam's Yorkville side, and the Bellaire boat landing.
- Jefferson County - 9 a.m. at the Steubenville Marina and Newburg Landing in Toronto.
"We've collected 1 million tons of trash and debris since 1990," Ison said. "In Pennsylvania alone, 40,000 tons of material were recycled last year."