A Reporter’s Musings

By Steve Novotney


(Editor’s Note: Occasionally, some collected facts and scenarios do not make it into an article, but they may still be interesting to the public. Hence, “A Reporter’s Musings.”)

“Almost Famous” Sandwiches Available at The Highlands:

According to Ohio County Commissioner Orphy Klempa, when he and his wife first tasted the Primanti’s sandwiches, it took place in a talk radio station’s studio nearly two years ago when Matt Antonucci of the Watchdog Network (AM 1600 WKKX and AM 1370 WVLY) prepared the delights for him and his bride.

Antonucci, a former employee of Primanti’s in the Pittsburgh area, served up two sandwiches for the couple to try, and Klempa said he soon engaged his two commission colleagues about recruiting the franchise to Ohio County.

“I didn’t know what to expect because of the French fries and cole slaw being on the sandwich,” Klempa said. “But we both really liked it, and that’s where the conversation began.”

Once the Dust Clears on Market Street:

Construction continues along the most northern stretch of Market Street as the renovation to Market Plaza progresses. The project, delayed for more than two years because of discovered issues with water lines beneath the area, was initiated in late September and continues today. Once complete, metered parking spaces will line the west side of Market Street, and the plaza will be, “business friendly,” according to Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron.

Market Plaza, where the City Market originally was located before the Civil War days, was last renovated in the late 1970s, and the cornerstone of the original Market House was included in the construction of the stone wall that lined its east border. The current project calls for the reuse of the historic cornerstone, but city leaders were not aware of its whereabouts once it was removed by the contractor, James White Construction of Weirton, W.Va.

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Herron, however, found that cornerstone. He reported two weeks later that the crews honored the city’s request and stored the cornerstone until the time arrives to place it in the new plaza area.

Did You Know?

I was reminded last week by Marshall County Assessor Chris Kessler that West Virginia Code mandates that once county property taxes are collected, 78 percent of those dollars are immediately allocated to the county school system.

Kessler estimated that in Marshall County, where the Board of Education voted in favor of reducing the collection rate to 94 percent (it is 95.5 percent in Ohio County), the public school system currently receives at least $40 million. In addition to those tax dollars, voters in both Marshall and Ohio counties have approved excess levies, allowing both school systems to establish budgets in the $60 million range.

But do you know how those dollars are spent?

Why not?

Salt in the Wound:

Weelunk.com has provided its readers with the most relevant coverage in the Upper Ohio Valley concerning what traffic nightmares remain inevitable for local motorists. Projects such as the paving and sidewalk work along Main and Market streets, the beautification and structure renovations to the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, the future of the Aetnaville Bridge, and the bridge systems east of the Wheeling Tunnel all were topics covered by in a meeting between Wheeling and Ohio County officials and local directors of the state Division of Highways.

The news? All delayed.

And yes, the DOH officials even were late to the meeting.