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.
Jamboree In?The Hills gives fans a chance to get up close and personal to their favorite musicians - even if they don't realize it at the time.
On?Thursday, country star Darius Rucker - of Hootie and the Blowfish fame - took in headliner Little Big Town from the photo area following his late-evening set.
He then ventured into the fan VIP?restroom area, where a concert-goer - who obviously did not recognize the singer - asked Rucker how far he traveled to attend the show. Rucker played along, answering that he came all the way from South Carolina.
"That's a long way for a concert," the oblivious fan said.
When the fan wandered away, Rucker and a group of bystanders had a laugh at the exchange.
Centre of the City
Over the past few years, Wheeling's Centre Market has experienced a rebirth of sorts, making it a destination for Ohio Valley residents and outsiders alike.
While staples like Coleman's Fish Market have been an anchor for the market house and surrounding area for decades, new, unique businesses continue to pop up every few months. Most recently, new stores Bower on the Market and The Vintage Cottage have opened. In the coming months - pending City Council approval - Wheeling Brewing Co.'s brewpub will open its doors, bringing a new idea to the city.
Centre Market is already a quirky part of the city that has both historic and modern flair. New restaurants and shops will only make it more appealing to residents and tourists. Those business owners who are doing their part to bring new and exciting endeavors to the area should be commended for making a good thing better.
Motorists exiting Interstate 70 west at Bridgeport may do a double take when looking at the stop sign on the left side of the ramp.
The large red stop sign has a bit of greenery atop it and it has nothing to do with holiday decorations. It appears a plant of some variety has latched on to the sign and appears to be growing out of thin air. It's a pretty amazing feat when you think of all the gardeners who struggle with fertilizers and such to grow their plants. Check it out.
A local man reported that he had purchased a humane cage trap to capture a pesky raccoon that has been raiding his garbage cans. The man set the trap in his backyard where the nightly pest has been invading his trash cans.
Excited to see the results of his efforts, the man got up the next morning, went out to check the trap but was dismayed to find that someone had stolen the trap. Now who's the real bandit?
Motorists traveling through Wheeling on Interstate 70 during the evening and night hours this past week may have noticed long lines of dump trucks near the Washington Avenue eastbound off-ramp as a large section of the interstate between the Wheeling Tunnel and the bottom of two-mile hill near Dallas Pike is being re-paved. Kelly Paving of Williamstown, W.Va., is the general contractor for the nearly $5.8 million West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways project that is scheduled for completion by Oct. 17.
Farm To Table
According to the WVU Extension Service office in Marshall County, more and more people are calling the office wanting to purchase locally sourced produce and meats. The extension office is on the search to find local farmers who are interested in growing to sell to add to the list.
Quite A Bargain
Who says you can't find a bargain anymore? A local grandfather recently was singing the praises of the Elm Terrace Shopping Center where he was accompanied by his two young granddaughters. He said he often took his own children there when they were growing up and they always rode on the coin-operated, three-horse merry-go-round located near the Ben Franklin store. He said now his granddaughters don't miss a chance to have grandpap take them on the red, white and blue horse ride. Amazingly, the price of a nice, long ride on the colorful equipment is still just 25 cents. Now that's a bargain.
Sports On Display
One only needs to visit a high school football stadium on a crisp, fall Friday night to see the impact sports has on the Ohio Valley, so it's fitting that the traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit "Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America" will be stopping at the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center from Aug. 17 to Sept. 27.
In addition to the traveling exhibit, there will be special presentations throughout that time focusing on issues such as the transition from segregated to integrated sports and interdepartmental sports at the former Weirton Steel Corp. and the All-American Girls Pro Baseball League, which was the inspiration for the film "A League of Their Own."
Nonprofit organizations and others seeking grants in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle can now access a collection of resources at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library, as the library is now a Funding Information Network partner with the Foundation Center of New York.
The center's core collection of resources profiles more than 110,000 potential sources of grants, as well as directories and proposal writing guide.
For more information, call 304-845-6911.