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.
Glen Dale native Brad Paisley released his 11th album - titled "Moonshine in the Trunk" - this past week to positive reviews.
The record features a song many Americans will love, titled "Country Nation." In the song, Paisley name checks many college football team mascots, from the Tennessee Volunteers to the Michigan Wolverines. He also references NASCAR racers Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
However, first and foremost on Paisley's list of references is his home-state West Virginia Mountaineers. He also offers a shout out to the Marshall Thundering Herd.
The album also features the song "River Bank," which Paisley has mentioned was inspired by his days on the Ohio River in Glen Dale. The singer posted a picture recently on his social media pages of him on a dock on the river at 8-years-old. He captioned the photo "How it all began."
As he continues to create new music, star in television singing competitions and travel the world, it may be hard to remember Paisley's Ohio Valley roots. However, if his new album is any indication, Paisley hasn't forgotten where he's from.
Now, if we could just get him to play a show here...
A Presidential Reminder
Yes, the mind of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is still sharp enough to remember vividly a moment from more than 20 years ago that most diehard Pittsburgh Pirates fans would rather forget.
West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, last week sent Carter a blue and gold West Virginia University hoodie for his upcoming 90th birthday on Oct. 1. Kessler was able to get his present to Carter in Georgia through Kessler's assistant, Steve McElroy.
Carter then used McElroy's phone to call and thank Kessler as Kessler sat watching a Pirates-Braves game at PNC Park.
"Honored to just receive a personal phone call from President Jimmy Carter as I watch Bucs-Braves at PNC," Kessler posted on Facebook. "He reminded me of Sid Bream's slide."
For those who may have chosen to forget, Bream's slide at home plate during Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series won the game and the series for the Braves, and it wasn't until last year the Pirates again made the playoffs.
Hold On Tight
Ohio County Auditor Kathie Hoffman sustained an injury this week that left her with a wrist and lower arm in need of a brace.
She was walking her 60-pound dog on a leash on Wheeling's walking trail when the dog spotted a cat, and decided to go after it. The petite Hoffman held on to the leash, and went for a ride. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Those passing by the lot where the Gene Long Community Center once stood on Wheeling Island this week may have noticed scaffolding around the preserved corner of the building known as the "flood wall," where high water marks from numerous flood events throughout Wheeling's history are recorded. Walters Construction of Wheeling was doing stabilization work on the wall, part of Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp.'s effort to turn the flood wall into a monument.
Congratulations are in order for Avenue Eats, which was recently named one of the most unique places to eat in Appalachia by Food Traveler magazine. The restaurant, located at Valley View and Washington avenues in Wheeling, specializes in burgers and sandwiches, from the roasted red pepper and goat cheeseburger to a shrimp po'boy. They're also vegetarian-friendly, however, offering a variety of fresh salads as well as an option to substitute grilled tempeh for meat on any sandwich.
Catching Some Zs
One thing worse than failing a field sobriety test along the highway during a traffic stop may be failing a field sobriety test in the jury room during a sentencing hearing in circuit court.
That allegedly happened Thursday in a hearing before Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone, when the defendant could not stay awake as he sat next to his court-appointed attorney.
After Assistant Ohio County Prosecutor Brian Ghaphery tipped Mazzone off that the defendant could not stay awake while waiting for the judge to enter the courtroom, Mazzone ordered two deputies and members of the Ohio County Drug Court staff to field test the defendant in the jury room.
The defendant told the judge he had not consumed any drugs or alcohol during the past 24 hours, but the test result allegedly told a different story: He failed.
Mazzone sent him back to jail.
With the Nov. 4 general election quickly approaching, the familiar campaign signs will start sprouting up again soon. Whether they ask one to support a Democrat or a Republican, or reflect support of a specific issue or cause, the signs are a matter of free speech. Still, they can become rather annoying by the time voters head to the ballot box.
Amid all the recent talk of plans to build Wheeling's first dog park in the Tunnel Green area of the city, it was probably only a matter of time before someone asked about a "cat park."
During the Waterfront Wednesdays concert last week, a pair of city residents said they would love to see Wheeling develop a feline-friendly facility where their pets could go for enjoyment. If enough people support the idea of a cat park, the city should study the viability of such a project.