Casting a vote for South School

THE BELMONT COUNTY Board of Elections finds itself in a quandary. Currently, the board has no place to ship voters in Martins Ferry to cast their ballots.

South School has been home to Ferrians, but ownership of the ex-school has changed hands, placing the future ballot-box use of the facility in question.

South School was the ideal venue for all city residents to vote. Parking was ample, situated just outside the building, and it was handicap friendly.

Other options for the election board are threefold: the school campus, the rec center or a Colerain site.

All three pale in comparison to South School.

Colerain is just too far removed for city voters. It would be unfair for Ferrians in town to matriculate that far, especially in bad weather.

The school campus, meanwhile, has the room and parking, but security would become a major issue. In light of all the school violence across the nation, it may be prudent to keep a mass ingress of people out of the Purple school buildings.

The recreation center, meanwhile, would need to utilize the second floor to accommodate voters. Even with an elevator, such a scenario creates a cumbersome situation. Also, the parking lot would be hard pressed to handle a heavy voting turnout.

That brings us back full circle. The former South School building offers the best option for the board of elections and voters alike.

The owner of South School is a good businessman and a community-minded individual.

Elections Director Bill Shubat is as good as you get in his profession and the board of elections is a quality and veteran group.

I would be surprised if both sides cannot get together and work out a fair arrangement that would keep Ferry voters casting their ballots at South School.


A FEW weeks back, Beallsville high and elementary schools held their Mini Rally for Life Assembly. Mini is a misnomer. This event is big time.

The community of Beallsville is as passionate as it gets in raising money for cancer patients. It trickles all the way down to elementary students, some bringing in a few cents. But it all adds up.

This most recent Rally for Life collected a school record $31,200. That speaks volumes of the fabric ingrained in the Beallsville community. The last six years has seen the Blue Devil Nation raise more than $114,000 in the cancer crusade.

Scooter Tolzda chairs the event. He does a masterful job of overseeing the effort, supported by a countless number of selfless volunteers. It is truly a total community undertaking.

This year, the powers-to-be with the Beallsville Relay opted to expand their frontiers to include patients outside their corporation limits. We, at The Times Leader, are thankful for that change, as one of our most dedicated, talented and veteran staffers benefitted.

Sports Writer Rich “Hoot” Gibson was one of the monetary recipients at the Beallsville school assembly. He is a St. Clairsville High graduate and still resides in the Hilltop community.

Rich has been battling lymphoma since this summer. He has handled his treatments with great courage and an upbeat spirit.

But battling cancer is a costly battle. The financial support delivered by the Beallsville Rally for Life to Rich is one less headache he must deal with. It also reflects the compassion ingrained in the fabric of Beallsville residents, as they reached across geographic borders in their philanthropic efforts.


I WAS a big fan of Beyonce until President Obama’s inauguration Monday. The popular singer lip synced the national anthem. That is weak. Do it live or don’t do it. All the other singers performed live. Kelly Clarkson was exceptional.

STAYING IN the political realm, it was time for Sen. Jay Rockefeller to call it quits. The longtime West Virginia senator was vulnerable if he opted to seek re-election. Shelley Moore Capito is a viable candidate while Rockefeller was drifting from his close ties to the coal industry.

IT IS hard to believe high school basketball season is rapidly winding down. The girls’ sectional drawings will be held a week from today and the boys’ drawings a week later.

THE CASE of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is as off the charts crazy as it gets. My one question is: If Te’o did win the Heisman Trophy (he was runnerup for college football’s most prestigious award), would he have been stripped of the trophy?

MARTINS FERRY is holding its annual town hall meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the recreation center. The entire city administration and safety forces will be in attendance. It is an ideal way for Ferrians to become better acquainted with their civic leaders, while also giving them an opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

THE POSITIVE comments continue to filter in concerning Dan Marling as Bellaire’s village administrator. Marling has brought a sense of energy and much-needed camaraderie to village government. Bellaire has the resources for a rebirth if the proper leadership is provided. Marling may be the one to make it happen. We (I am a Bellaire resident) must find a way to pay our police force better, as well as beefing up their staffing numbers.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader