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Pipeline Progress; Lack of Information; and Ziplines

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.

Pipeline Ongoing

It seems no matter where you go in the Upper Ohio Valley, you are bound to find pipeliners installing lines to connect natural gas wells to processing plants. Driving along Ohio 9 or Ohio 149 in Belmont County, you are going to see pipeline construction all over the place. Along U.S. 250 in Marshall County, you will see pipelining. The activity is prevalent in numerous other areas, as well.

Pipeline operations require constant supplies of trucks transporting the pipe to the installation site. Therefore, motorists should also expect to encounter large trucks loaded with pipe moving across the region.

This is all part of the ongoing Marcellus and Utica shale rush, so it is not going to slow down anytime soon.

Bare Clipboards

Some members of the Wheeling Police Department apparently fail to see the importance of providing daily log reports for public review.

When reporters review the daily reports, they are keeping track of criminal activity within the community. The reports not only give reporters an opportunity to expand some of the reports into significant news stories, but they show that police are doing more than the stereotypical coffee and donuts routine.

Daily reports show that officers are on the job at all hours of the day or night. That’s good information when it comes to proposed city budget cuts or departmental downsizing.

However, when the clipboard is bare in the morning, can we assume there was absolutely no crime or citizens’ complaints over a 24-hour period, nobody left the station to go on patrol, or maybe some officers are getting lax in their report writing?

Fast Food

Despite crisp temperatures Friday, a vendor selling gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches was spotted at the corner of 14th and Main streets, outside the former Mountain Mama’s kayak and bike rental shop. Here’s hoping the proprietor has better luck at that location than many of those who have come before him.

Food Trucking

Speaking of food trucks, Wheeling saw a few hit the Friendly City at various times throughout the summer months, mostly at events at Heritage Port.

The idea is easy enough: Create a unique dining experience that is quick and easy while also maintaining quality. Many larger cities – Pittsburgh is a prime example – have several food trucks that are guaranteed to be sitting outside the biggest events throughout the year. While paying festival prices for food inside of an event can be costly, food truck prices usually remain reasonable.

It would be great to see more food trucks in and around The Friendly City. This reporter thinks they could be a big hit for the lunch crowd in Downtown Wheeling, where options are limited. Here’s hoping these “meals on wheels” spring up in the coming months.

Hitting the Ice

With all the talk of lackluster attendance at Wheeling Nailers hockey games the past couple of years, it was encouraging to see the local hockey team pack the house for its Oct. 18 home opener with a paid attendance of 4,754. The team drew an average of 2,252 during the 2013-14 campaign, last in the ECHL.

Openers are usually well-attended, and it’s probably unrealistic to expect those numbers to continue. But with news of the Nailers committing to remaining in Wheeling for at least the next four years, and the city committing to modernizing WesBanco Arena over the coming months, its encouraging to see the Ohio Valley, at least early on, is excited about its professional hockey team.

Dining In

Wheeling residents looking for a night off from cooking can reserve homemade dinners from Wheeling Country Day School this year. Dishes include soups and salads, take-and-bake casseroles, pork chops, and more. Meals can be purchased one night at a time or in a package and family sizes can be chosen. The program will run until mid December with proceeds benefiting school programs.

Zipping Along

Woodsdale Elementary School principal Kim Miller received a gift from her staff on “Boss’s Day” that should prove to be an uplifting experience.

She and about 15 others at the school will be going ziplining at Grand Vue Park. Miller said the adventure will take place when the weather permits.

On the Road

In case you were wondering, the pay for the secretary of transportation in Maryland is $175,000 yearly, according to the current job holder Jim Smith – a 1964 alumnus of Wheeling Jesuit University.

Down on the Farm

Over the past two weeks, school children in grades preschool through second grade from all over the Ohio Valley have had a chance to learn about agriculture and how their food and the materials for their clothes originate on the farm during the annual Ebbert Farm Market “Agri-Days” event in St. Clairsville. Following each field trip student pick one small pumpkin to take home.

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