Tracing the roots of Valentine’s Day

TODAY IS the most romantic day of the yearValentine’s Day.

But just how did this February holiday gets its start? Who is the mysterious saint the day is named for and why do we celebrate?

One legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served in Rome during the third century.

When Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers, marriage of young men was outlawed. Valentine believed the decree to be unjust and defied Claudius and continued to perform marriage in secret for young lovers.

Soon the actions of Valentine were discovered and Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Another story suggests that Valentine was killed after assisting Christians from Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

In other tales, Valentine is said to have created the very first “valentine” after falling in love with his jailer’s daughter. Just prior to his death, this account says he signed the love letter to the young woman “From you Valentine.”

Whatever legend you believe, its important to remember to get those cards and gifts for you “valentine” before the end of the day. It might not hurt to plan a romantic dinner or date.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT seems to be a hot topic across the country. Harrison County got some good news on the topic when Dr. Joseph Bukowski, president of Belmont Technical College, introduced Dr. Holly Bennett during this Wednesday’s County Commissioners meeting.

Bennett will serve as the college’s dean of Workforce and Economic Development and said she is looking forward to working with both county and village officials.

A native of Kittanning, Pa., Bennett made the move to Belmont Technical College after being on the staff of Mojave Community College in Arizona.

Both the college and local leaders are looking forward to working together according to discussion during the meeting.

CADIZ MAYOR Ken Zitko told council that he recently returned from a trip to the nation’s capital to seek assistance for the village’s sewer troubles.

Zitko said he made the three-day sojourn with Kevin Strange, executive director of the Ohio Rural Water Association.

While in Washington, D.C., the pair talked to federal legislators and Zitko said he was able to discuss funding for the village’s sewer system which is severely outdated.

The village has been on a mission to update the system’s truck lines and treatment plant and has sought cost-effect way to complete repairs.

Although the original price tag of $770,000 has been cut in half, village residents are facing increases in their monthly water bills. Leaders have been able to snag some grant monies to fund the project and continue to work for additional assistance.

A NEW support group will get its start this week in the county.

The Society for Equal Access Independent Living Center, Inc., will hold a meeting on Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Tri-County Help Center, W. Warren St., Cadiz.

The peer support group is for parents of children with disabilities and is a cross-disability group. Parents of a child with any disability, whether mental, physical or learning, are encouraged to attend.

The society is a non-profit organization that assist individual with disabilities to live independently and productively as active members in their community.

For more information, contact Bobbie Houy at 888-213-4452 est. 234.

THE ANNUAL Lenten Fish Fry will begin next Friday at the Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department. The event will be held each Friday through April 10, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. A fish fry will also be held on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, 4-7 p.m. Eat-in or for carry-outs call 546-3242. All proceeds will benefit the fire department.

THE SCIO American Legion will hold a steak fry on Feb. 21, 4-7 p.m. Cost is $10 for strip steak and $14 for fillet steak. Each meal also includes baked potato, salad bar, garlic bread, drink and dessert. Salad bar only is $5 per person. Proceeds will benefit the Legion building fund.

A MONTE Carlo Night will be held Fev. 28 at the New Athens Fire Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m., drawing will begin at 7 p.m. The event will benefit the New Athens Volunteer Fire Department. Call 968-1001 for more information or tickets.

WARMER WEATHER is just around the corner and children throughout the area will soon be heading out for baseball and softball practices.

Signups for both sports will be held for children in both the Cadiz and Hopedale. area

The Hopedale Softball Association will hold a meeting on Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the Hopedale Social Hall. Signups are expected to held in March.

For more information call 937-2815.

The Cadiz Baseball Association has planned signups for girls and boys ages 4-14 at the Cadiz Municipal Building on Feb. 27, 5-7 p.m.; Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and March 6, 5-7 p.m.

Cost is $35 for the first child, $20 for each additional child in a family. Cost for 4-5 year olds is $20 per child.

Sedgmer may be reached at ksedgmer@timesleader