Paving the way for smoother travel

THE BELMONT County commissioners’ meeting Wednesday featured some lively debate.

The paving of roads has been a frequently discussed issue, and it surfaced again last week. Commissioners approved to transfer $1 million for paving use.

The decision was not a unanimous one, however.

Commissioners Ginny Favede and Chuck Probst were in favor of the transfer while Commissioner Matt Coffland dissented.

The split decision was triggered by the source of the funding. It will come from the Capital Projects Fund, which was being targeted for a mall interchange project.

The million-dollar transfer comes on the heels of commissioners nixing a license tax hike which would have generated paving money.

The commissioners have been inundated with complaints for road improvements. They needed to do something, as the shoddy roads were becoming safety concerns

Why let $1 million sit idle when you can make productive use out of it? There are no guarantees the interchange project will come to fruition.

You can’t err on the side of safety. With that said, the commissioners made the right call.



THE GREAT Stone Viaduct Society is working cooperatively with the Orrville Railroad Heritage Club of Orrville, Ohio, to offer advance ticketing for the Fall Excursion scheduled for Oct. 12

This train will follow a 120-mile route leaving the Orrville Station at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, en route to Brewster, Navarre, Canton, Akron, Hartsville, Copley and Medina. At Medina, the train will stop at the A. I. Root Candle Co. and shops, with downtown West Liberty Commons for your shopping and dining pleasure.

The train will then commence re-boarding for the trip to Spencer, Lodi, Creston and Smithville before arriving back at Orrville Station at 6 p.m.

Ohio’s countryside in the dazzling colors of autumn gives this train its name “Autumn Express.” Members of the Great Stone Viaduct Society and the general public are invited on this trip, and assurances have been given by Orrville that the GSVSociety group will travel together in one coach. Pricing for Charter members is $99 per person and for the general public $109 per person.

This train will likely sell out by mid-summer, and therefore, reservations must be submitted to the GSVSociety no later than June 15.

Reservation forms can be obtained online at the GSVSociety website Travel to Orrville will be by car caravan gathering at the Village of Bellaire Parking Lot on 32nd Street the morning of the event.


FORMER ST. John Central basketball and softball great Ashley Marinacci has taken on more coaching responsibilities at Bethany College. Ashley, who serves as the Lady Bison assistant softball coach, has now been named the school’s head women’s tennis coach. She starred in softball at Bethany after a sterling prep career at St. John’s. She was an all-Ohio performer in softball and all-OVAC in basketball.

KUDOS TO Buckeye Local school board members. When you employ a former Navy SEAL to oversee your security program, you definitely mean business.

I WANT to extend the best of retirement wishes to Al Molnar after more than a half century of superb journalistic work. Molnar was an old-school reporter and a very good one, who pounded the pavement and worked the phone lines in nailing down a story. His Sunday column focusing on Eastern Ohio was a gold mine of facts and knowledge. He leaves a major void in our profession.

LAST WEEK’S column blasting E. Gordon Gee, now retiring president of The Ohio State University, generated much response. The majority of the feedback was anti-Gee. He is a very polarizing figure, you either love him or held him in little regard. Ohio State, which paid Gee $1.9 million per year should have no problem finding a suitable replacement.

U.S. OPEN: Golf’s toughest test unfolds this week at Merion, outside of Philadelphia. My pick to win is slump-ridden Rory McElroy.

JUSTIN CLIFFORD and his upstart Harrison Central Huskies became the darlings of the Ohio Valley prep circuit the last several weeks as they advanced to the state Division II tournament. While the state tourney did not play out as we had hoped, the Huskies had a season that won’t soon be forgotten.

ONE OF the hot topics in the nation is the U.S. government’s surveillance of Americans’ phone records. U.S. Intelligence experts say the government, though not listening in on calls, would be looking for patterns that could lead them to terrorists – and that there was every reason to believe similar orders were in place for other phone companies. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I have no problem with the government scrutinizing my phone calls for the sake of safety. If you have nothing to hide, what is the big deal?

WINNING STATE titles in Ohio is an arduous task. To repeat as state champion in Buckeyeland is truly remarkable. St. Clairsville High shot putter Alyssa Robinson and River’s Cassidy McCullough again showed how special they are Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader