Belmont Community Hospital quite healthy

Belmont Community Hospital is alive and well.

BCH Senior Administrator John DeBlasis addressed Bellaire Chamber of Commerce members during Thursday’s monthly luncheon. DeBlasis, who is also in charge of Wheeling Hospital’s physical therapy department, updated chamber members and guests on the status of the Bellaire-based facility.

The hospital was a struggling entity until becoming affiliated with Wheeling Hospital. Such is no longer the case, as DeBlasis detailed.

“The hospital is here to stay,” DeBlasis noted early on.

BCH now employs 200 individuals, making it the largest employer in the village.

The hospital is home to many state-of-the-art features such as the Schiffler Cancer Center with a chemo site, Acuity Specialty Hospital, three operating room suites, inpatient rehab and inpatient psych/behavorial medicine and an Intermediate unit.

BCH is no small-time operation. Moreover, the hospital is ingrained in the Bellaire community.

“We want to help the village and the school district any way we can,” DeBlasis noted. “We want to do things the right way and be a part of the community. We are headed in the right direction.”

IN OTHER chamber meeting news, it was announced that Boo In The Park will be held Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. in the historic city park. Hay rides will commence at 5 p.m.

It was also announced that Sheila Perkins is serving as interim library director. She previously was the longtime director of the St. Clairsville Library before retiring.


OHIO’S TOP-RATED junior tight end prospect has Ohio Valley roots.

Jacob Matuska is a two-way star for Columbus Bishop Hartley. Matuska is a 6 ft. 5, 240-pounder being recruited by Division I heavyweights as a tight end.

He played an integral role in Hartley’s capturing the Division IV state grid title a year ago, while also being a standout on the hardwood, helping the Hawks to a state tourney berth last winter.

Hartley appears primed for another state grid title run, still spotless heading into Week 10. Following Friday’s night’s 38-7 triumph against 7-2 Coshocton, Matuska had little down time, as he was an invited guest of Notre Dame for the Fighting Irish’s showdown with USC.

Jacob attended the game with his parents, Jimmy and Beth (Bierkortte) Matuska, both St. John Central graduates. Jimmy, in fact, was a three-sports star for the Fighting Irish in the mid 1980s. Jacob’s uncle, Paul Matuska, is a science teacher at Martins Ferry High School while also serving as the Purple Riders’ eighth grade football coach and assistant high school track coach. Paul was an all-Ohio two-way end for the 8-2 Irish of Frank Vingia in 1981.


AFTER A year down the tracks, I finally viewed the movie “Unstoppable” which was filmed in large doses in Bellaire and to a lesser degree in Martins Ferry. The flick was exceptional as was Denzel Washington. The All-American Town was featured in many scenes.

THE TIMES Leader has been receiving a heavy dose of letters to the editor, many dealing with the Nov. 8 election. Unfortunately, many are unsigned, meaning they cannot be published. Unsigned letters are a sign of being gutless.

THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon meeting Tuesday. It was noted that “Halloween in the City Park” will be held Oct. 30 from 2-5 p.m. while Trick or Treating will be staged Oct. 31 from 6-7 p.m. Councilman Paul Riethmiller said the Lions Club will be holding its 3rd annual Pancake Breakfast on Dec. 10. He also announced the Lions will conduct a Community Building Day event on Nov. 5-6 to advance the Fodor Field project. He said many volunteers are needed as the new $64,000 playground equipment will be installed.

THE ANIMAL fiasco which played out in Muskingum County this past week is both bizarre and quite sad. It’s amazing an individual could harbor 50 exotic animals. It doesn’t seem feasible. But to set them loose before committing suicide was handing the animals a death sentence. Authorities did what they had to do in saving human life, but the animals were innocent victims. The problem lies with insufficient laws and the failure to enforce them.

MARTINS FERRY High reserve volleyball coach Amy Riethmiller has teamed up with her collegiate alma mater, West Liberty University, for another “Bust’n the Net for a Cure” game that will help raise more money for Kylie Clark. The game will be held on Tuesday at West Liberty’s ASRC main arena at 7 p.m. All students, parents, teachers, and family members are invited to attend. Clark is a former Martins Ferry volleyball player who has battled cancer for several years.

MARTINS FERRY’S new councilman is a good fit. Bob Krajnyak was appointed Wednesday to fill a council void. Krajnyak is experienced in the political field and has the people skills to make a difference.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Reno Saccoccia on reaching a landmark 300th win as head football coach of the Steubenville Big Red. I expect Monroe Central Jay Circosta to join Reno this week when his Seminoles take on Buckeye Trail. Three hundred football wins is staggering. That equates to being a head coach for 30 years and winning 10 games each season. That is mind boggling. Congratulations to both coaching icons, and I hope each attains 400.

MONEY TRIVIA: The United States Government used to keep its supply of silver at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. It now only keeps on hand enough for minting purposes. The West Point Mint also has the second largest gold depository in the United States.

Kapral may be reached at