Local schools dealing with tough times

THESE ARE some crazy times in our local schools.

Within the past two weeks, at least three teachers have either been suspended for alleged improper conduct or led out of their respective school in handcuffs. So much for role models.

Also, on two separate occasions this past week, a pair of western Belmont County schools fell victim to bomb threats. In one situation, school was dismissed, while classes were canceled for the ensuing day on the second episode.

Bomb threats are usually merely that — just threats. But obviously, no risks can be taken, especially with so many children involved.

We at The Times Leader often times get beat up for not reporting such episodes. As a norm, we do not give such incidents publicity.


Publicizing such senseless acts simply generates more of them. If no arrests are made, criminals feel they have a free pass to continue.

Unless very public in nature or very bizarre, bomb threats will not be chronicled by The Times Leader. We are not suppressing news, but rather averting needless chaos.



THE BELLAIRE Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon Tuesday in the basement of the public library.

Pastor Cheryl Lawson of the Promised Land Ministry Center in Martins Ferry was the guest speaker. She directs the non-profit agency organized to provide assistance to the senior adult population of the Ohio Valley.

She detailed the many services provided to local senior citizens.

In other chamber business, it was noted the Bellaire calendar fundraiser is a major success. Less than 20 remain (as of Thursday). They are available by contacting Chamber President Lou Ann Bennett.

Bennett also said a storage facility is needed for the Christmas decorations. The decorations are still up on village streets due to the inability to find suitable space.

A town hall meeting will be held Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. in the Bellaire Public Library. Also, the annual Easter egg hunt will be held March 31 at 1 p.m. in the village park.


THE BELLAIRE Board of Education voted Monday to hire an auctioneer to sell two-and-a-half acres of district-owned property in West Bellaire. The minimum amount for the sale of the property is $6,000. The district is retaining the property’s mineral rights. The piece of property is a prime chunk of real estate, located between the old West Bellaire School and Ohio 149.

THE OHIO County Board of Education knows how to get it done. The board promotes capable people from within. Such a practice lead to continuity, and consistency while giving incentive to district workers. Latest case in point was the naming of Bernie Dolan as assistant superintendent, effective July 1. Bernie is a quality individual. He ascended from teacher-coach, to athletic director to high school principal, before receiving his latest promotion. Dolan’s ascension to assistant super comes on the heels of Dr. Dianna Vargo being named the district’s new superintendent this summer. Dr. Vargo, a St. Clairsville native, earned her way up the Ohio County Schools’ district ladder, also previously serving as high school principal and deputy superintendent after being a coach and teacher in the district. The Ohio County school board is a blueprint for educational effectiveness.

I COMMEND the Shadyside Board of Education for opting to implement a volleyball program for the coming year. Such a move is long overdue and will enhance the school’s fall athletic program. With the Lady Tigers’ current basketball success under Tina Yates and previously under Jim Miller, Shadyside obviously has the athletes to build a solid net program quickly.

VALENTINE’S DAY means big floral business in the U.S. More than 100 million roses were purchased Tuesday.

THE MARCH 6 primary election is quickly approaching and definitely heating up. Some mud is starting to fly while campaign signs are being pilfered. I have never ran for political office and never plan to, but I always felt I would take the high road and take the positive route, avoiding negative campaigning. The?deadline to have primary election-related letters published in the Times Leader is Sunday, Feb 26.

A SHROVE Tuesday Pancake and Sausage Supper will be held at the Bellaire Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 5-7 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and share this time of fellowship and good food before Ash Wednesday. The church is located at 3599 Guernsey St.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com