CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- FIRE destroyed the Dodgem' Cars, one of the oldest and most beloved rides at Camden Park. A power surge during an overnight storm ignited the fire, officials said.
"That was my favorite ride in the park," said Shawn Wellman, ride supervisor at the park. "It had an old, wooden roof. Once it got lit, it was old and dry and just went up."
The ride was more than 60 years old, a tribute to its good construction and decades of good maintenance. Many an adult's first driving experience was behind the wheel of those old cars.
"The loss of the Dodgem' ride saddens all of us who love the historic rides that are the fabric of this 113-year-old park," Manager Jack Boylin said. "We will do our best to bring back a modern day version of this ride."
With self-driving cars in the future, Dodgem' Cars someday may be the only driving experience for people. May the replacement Dodgems' last so long.
THE state Racing Commission refused to send to the Ohio County prosecutor reports on animal cruelty that led to sanctions against James Grace, James Bloom and Christopher Bever, accused of mistreating greyhounds at Wheeling Island.
The commission pulled the licenses for Grace and Bever and suspended Bloom's for six months.
Grace and Bloom were cited for not taking a dog with a possibly broken leg to a veterinarian, while Bever is said to have hit and jerked dogs.
Teachers, doctors and others are required by law to report suspected child abuse. The people who oversee horse and dog racing in the state should report any animal cruelty to local prosecutors.
If commissioners believe they are protecting the industry by sweeping cruelty under the rug, they are mistaken. Other states ban dog racing. West Virginia could be next if commissioners continue to ignore animal cruelty.