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A Different Type of Scenery, Rain, and Deep Freeze

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.

Rubber Necking

Forget leaf peepers – Ohio County has mansion watchers.

The mansion built by Quay Mull off W.Va. 88 in Ohio County continually draws curious onlookers who can be seen stopping at the gates to the long driveway. The impressive castle-like home is an eye-catching sight along the country road. Some people get out and take photos of the multi-storied, expansive home, while others simply stop and stare.

Wedding Season

The Rev. Jim LaCrosse, S.M., pastor of Mater Dolorosa Parish in Paden City and Holy Rosary Parish in Sistersville, returned to St. Vincent de Paul Church in Wheeling last weekend to celebrate and perform the wedding ceremony for Cayla Jorden and Matt Black. LaCrosse previously served at the Wheeling church for many years. What many might not know about the Catholic priest is that he can cut a mean rug. He was spotted doing the Electric Slide and other dances at the reception. Not bad, Father.

Guests at the reception also commented on the beautiful wedding cake that included a miniature Spiderman character climbing up the back of the cake which was made by the bride’s mother, Jodie Jorden. The groom is a Spiderman enthusiast. The bride did her thing in a gorgeous lace-embellished gown and veil, complemented by red high heels. It was truly a wonderful occasion for all.

Village Makeover

Driving through Bellaire on Thursday, one reporter spotted locals cleaning up streets and sidewalks throughout the area. An citizens action group coordinates the projects weekly to improve the appearance of the community.

Tis The Season

It’s looking a lot like Halloween near the entrance to Dimmeydale as the Stifel Fine Arts Center is hosting a corn stalk maze on the front lawn of the facility on weekends through the end of the month. Meanwhile, the the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ located across National Road is hosting their annual pumpkin patch, by selling pumpkins to raise money for charity.

The Gift of Reading

A free library can now be spotted outside of First Presbyterian Church on Chapline Street in downtown Wheeling.

Anyone interested in a book is asked to leave a book for every one they take, or simply return a new book when they’re finished reading. A similar initiative can be found in the city’s Centre Market at Paradox Bookstore. Although a retail establishment, the store’s owner keeps a few books outside the building, with a sign encouraging people who cannot afford a book to take one and bring it back whenever they can.

When It Rains

A little rain and then a deluge didn’t keep Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Ohio, from rallying his fellow Dems last week outside the Ohio County Democrat Headquarters in Wheeling. It seemed the louder Fitzsimmons spoke, the harder rain fell during event, which marked the opening of the office.

Polar Vortex

Sledd Co. stores more than 10,000 different products at its Elm Grove distribution center for shipment to convenience stores around the region. That task requires massive refrigeration and freezer units, some of which are kept as cold as 30 degrees below zero. After just a few moments inside the intermediate freezer zone (at minus-10 degrees), walking back into the 37-degree refrigeration unit felt downright balmy to this reporter.

Thank You, Come Again

Another interesting note: Sledd’s recent expansion also included the addition of a mock convenience store used to train new store owners on how to run their facilities. Don’t try to stop by for a beverage or snack though – they won’t sell to you.

Gas Relief

As gasoline prices skyrocketed in the early-to-mid 2000s, a common belief was this happened because global demand for oil also significantly increased. As late as 1999, one could often find a gallon of unleaded gasoline priced at about $1. By 2005, however, prices near $3 per gallon became the norm. Since then, the average price has fluctuated between the $3 and $4 marks.

All the while, the price of oil also escalated. Whether officials blamed the Iraq War and other instability in the Middle East, or attributed the increase to higher demand in China and India, they always said the price of gasoline could be tied to that of oil.

Although gasoline prices are dropping, the price of oil seems to be on a sharper decline. Since topping out at $107 per barrel in May, oil closed at $82.75 Friday. The cost of gasoline is not dropping as significantly, perhaps because traders believe oil will eventually recover.

The moral of the story is that although the cost of gasoline is related to the price of oil, there are plenty of other factors that determine how much you pay at the pump.

Rubber Necking

Traveling to Wheeling from St. Clairsville on Interstate 70 is still almost as much of a challenge as it was in June. There are too many barrels blocking off lanes to allow for paving.

Obviously, street and road paving is necessary, but it tests the patience of motorists who become used to having multiple lanes of traffic open for use. Hopefully, the work is finished by the time the snow starts flying.

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