Where is Bill Clinton when you need him?

FRIDAY’S US jobs report did little to boost President Obama’s re-election efforts. More than likely, it dealt another damaging blow, a setback his campaign definitely didn’t need.

The economy added 80,000 jobs in June. While 80,000 jobs sounds like a healthy amount, it is anything but. Somewhere closer to 200,000 new monthly jobs are a sign of economic progress.

June’s numbers are troubling enough for Obama, but coupled with similar weak numbers in April and May, the Democrats cannot feel too confident of four more years in the White House. The last three months have seen the economy produce an average of just 75,000 jobs a month, the weakest three months since August through October 2010.

Moreover, the unemployment rate didn’t budge in June, remaining at 8.2 percent.

The president did get a boost when the Supreme Court supported Obamacare. But his re-election hopes rest clearly on the economy. Time is running short for a robust upturn.

He will have tough sledding in the Ohio Valley. First, our economy hasn’t improved in his three-plus years. Secondly, he has done nothing to help the steel industry. Lastly, he is squashing coal.

Obama has one thing working for him. That being Mitt Romney is his GOP foe.

Romney has campaign warts of his own.

He had a difficult time generating widespread Republican support during the primary season as his conservative roots were questioned. His massive personal wealth turns off many Americans and his bashing of Obamacare rings hollow as he scripted a very similar plan while he was governor of Massachusetts.

I say bring back Bill Clinton.


ONE OF the finest church festivals in the Ohio Valley unfolds this coming week at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Shadyside. The festival runs Friday from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday from 1-10 p.m. at the church grounds at East 40th Street.

The well-attended event features food, refreshments, baked goods, games and live entertainment both days. Friday’s feature is Coleman’s fish (available at 11 a.m.) plus Italian sausage. Saturday will feature Barb-B-Que chicken dinners. We urge everyone to get out to St. Mary’s and support a most worthwhile cause.


ALL GOOD things come to an end, such was the gas war in the Aetnaville area. Prices at those two battling stations were still reasonable Friday morning, however, at $3.17 a gallon. Meanwhile, that same morning, gas was selling at $3.59 in Bellaire. Prices dropped to $3.29 in the All-American Town Saturday.

THE MARTINS Ferry Lions Club has done extensive charitable work in its few years of existence. It will undoubtedly continue to do much more in the near future. It takes money, however, to make that happen. In that regard, the Ferry Lions Club is holding a yard sale this coming Saturday at Fodor Park. This is a new fundraising activity for the Lions, one that may become an annual event. The sale will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. We urge everyone to support the yard sale as the Ferry Lions have been ultra supportive of community projects.

WE EXTEND our best of luck wishes to Times Leader News Editor Eric Ayres. He will be leaving us Friday to take a job with Belmont County Senior Services. Eric has been employed by Ogden Newspapers for 17 years.

WE ARE not shocked in the least that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have opted to part ways. Successful Hollywood marriages are few and far between. In addition, Cruise is as arrogant as they come.

JOE KROFLICH was a standout basketball player during his prep days at St. John Central in the 1970s. He also is an adept golfer. The Yorkville resident recorded a hole-in-one on the fourth hole at Bec-Wood on July 1. He used a 6-iron on the 180-yard par 3. Witnessing the ace was Freddie Rine.

DR. SCOTT D. Miller, president of Bethany College, has been elected Chair of the Board of Directors of Academic Search, Inc. Dr. Miller has served as President of Bethany College since 2007. Prior, he was President of Wesley College in Delaware (1997-2007) and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee (1991-97). For 18 years, he has also served as a consultant to college presidents and boards.

SOME BELATED Independence Day trivia: both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the Fourth of July.

PATRICIA ANNE Lynn of Martins Ferry is one of just 68 high school students statewide who has been awarded an Ohio State University Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship, which provides access to high-ability students. Lynn, a 2012 St John Central grad, will be a frosh at Ohio State in August. The Land Grant Opportunity Scholarships combine scholarships, federal and state grants, and a work-study component to fully fund a recipient’s education, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation to and from campus, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The award may be renewed for up to 8 semesters as long as a student attends school full time and maintains a 3.0 GPA.

THIS?PAST week in the Ohio?Valley was not one of the most pleasant in recent memory for sure.?Between lingering power outages and 100-degree temperatures, local residents had their collective patience put to the test. We commend everyone who helped those who were in need of assistance.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com