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.
"Scenic" U.S. 40
Travelogues describing U.S. 40 as a scenic route across America probably are not based on what some motorists saw Tuesday.
Ohio County deputies responded to reports of a woman walking a naked man, down on all fours, around the yard on a leash. At 9:30 a.m., in broad daylight, passersby got a realtime view of a couple engaged in action described by a deputy as "kinky."
The event could end up as fodder for people opposed to the establishment of a dog park in the Wheeling area - or at least spawn an interesting group of additional dog park rules.
Another possibility: Amendments to the county's leash laws.
Out With a Bang
Visitors to the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival last weekend reported the fireworks display on Saturday night was the best yet.
Huge explosions brought about fantastic pyrotechnics to the skies over Heritage Port. Thousands of people swarmed to the festival grounds and lined the streets in Center Wheeling for a great view of the show since the fireworks are now launched from an area near Main Street Bank rather than from the Wheeling Suspension Bridge as had been the case in the past.
One woman said parking in Center Wheeling was the best idea. She said after enjoying the show, she hopped on W.Va. 2 and was back home in the Woodsdale area in 8 minutes. Try that in a bigger city.
Most children are taught to ride a bike, tie their shoelaces and snap their fingers. Still others are taught - often by an older sibling - to spit in an effort to look "cool." That's fine when one is 5 years old, but for all the adults out there: there's no reason to spit on a public sidewalk. It's called a tissue - use one. Save everyone from having to accidentally step in your mucous and spread germs.
Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland made his first trip outside the continental U.S. last week as he took a five-day vacation to Jamaica. During the trip, he said he relaxed on the beach with family and tried some snorkeling.
Coffland advises those planning to travel to Jamaica there is no cellphone service there, and internet service is "not good."
Gas prices around the Ohio Valley have motorists scratching their heads.
First, local prices are upward of 30 cents more per gallon than in southern states, as reported by vacationers returning from southern beach towns. Ohio and West Virginia gas stations may differ 20 to 40 cents per gallon in price. As of mid-week, Ohio prices were cheaper than across the river in West Virginia. A gas war just may be brewing.
Red, White and Blue
A new bench outside the Benwood City Building sports touches of patriotism.
The back of the bench resembles an American flag, with wooden slats placed horizontally like strikes and a blue metal insert in the left corner emblazoned with stars. There are rounded sides on the bench containing an American bald eagle emblem.
Motorists likely have seen - perhaps much to their chagrin - pairs of decorations depicting the male anatomy hanging from pickup trucks traveling our Ohio Valley roads. One word could probably describe the novelties: unnecessary.
Wait, make that two words: grotesque and unnecessary.