Seniors, libraries should draw voter support

ELECTION DAY arrives Tuesday, ending some vicious campaigning in several local communities. Small-town politics can be down right ugly.

With that said, I see two Belmont County issues gaining widespread support.

One is the senior services renewal levy. Voters always have a soft spot in their hearts for those in their golden years.

The second is the Belmont County District Library levy. We have published countless letters from all over the county supporting the levy. Signs backing the levy are equally as numerous.

Both the senior services and library issues are worthwhile causes. I voted in support of both on my absentee ballot.

School levies, as usual, are commonplace on the ballot.

Shadyside school officials have championed their cause with unbridled zeal. It is just one of a handful of funding requests on the Tiger Town ballot.

Bellaire schools and levies have become synonymous. This marks the seventh straight attempt for the district to seek infusion of new money. Officials have apparently taken a new approach this time around, as they have not campaigned with the passion during their first six tries.

Voting results will go a long way in shaping the future of the Switzerland of Ohio School District. After the district’s levy lost by a close margin in May, Switzerland of Ohio officials have instituted an austerity program. Should Tuesday’s money request fail, the district will be facing even more painful decisions. Ormet’s shutting down cannot help the levy’s chances.

I am anxious to see how many votes it will take to get elected to the Buckeye Local Board of Education. Twelve candidates are vying for three seats. Geography plays into this race big time.

In my stomping grounds, Bellaire has two intriguing municipal races. The mayoral contest pits three candidates while six candidates are vying for four council seats. As a lifetime Bellaire resident, I am pleased to see we have some character candidates on the ballot.

SPEAKING OF elections, I believe political signs are irrelevant unless they are posted on private properties. Having a homeowner or resident display a political sign is an endorsement. Those placed on public land have no support.


BOB MURRAY gets it done. No one champions coal like the leader of Murray Energy. He wears his passion on his sleeve. I like that.

With Consol looking to sell five of its coal mines, Murray anted up more than $3 billion to make that acquisition. that is a power transaction and one as I see as a security blanket for our coal industry.

Murray is a crafty a businessman as there is. He obviously believes he can make his new mines profitable ventures. If that be the case, it will protect precious coal-mining jobs.


MARTINS FERRY has mapped a quality Veterans Day celebration for Saturday, Nov. 9, two days in advance of the actual holiday.

The event commences with a 1 p.m. start at the Liberty Fire Station. It will work its way to the city park via North Zane Highway to Hanover Street, to Fourth Street and will reach the park on Grant Avenue.

Sgt. Major Lee Bonar Jr. of the United States Marine Corp, headquartered in Quantico, Va., will be the featured speaker. He is the third highest ranked enlisted person in the entire Marine Corp. Bonar, who had two tours of combat, is a Bronze star recipient and has also earned a Presidential Citation award.

The Ferry event features much more. A brief military slide show is on tap while Mayor Paul Riethmiller will lead the Soldiers prayer. “The American Heritage Girls” will present patriotic music. All veterans in attendance will be called to the stage for special recognition.

A closing prayer and TAPS will wrap up the program.

Last year’s program was a rousing success, as more than 200 individuals attended the Ferry ceremony.

For those wishing more information or RSVP, call Kirk Roth at 740-827-6483.

Roth’s email address is


WHILE JOSH Mandel’s visit spurred little interest in Martins Ferry 10 days ago as reflected by a crowd of just 19, I did come away impressed with the state treasurer. The Ohio State grad is sharp, articulate and has swagger. I also have much respect for U.S. Marines, which Mandel was for eight years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq. His brings youth (age 36) and a sense of presence to his post. I could support him for our next governor after John Kasich wraps up his second term (pending re-election which I fully expect).

KUDOS GO out to my good friend Mark Holenka. Going 10-0 is a remarkable achievement in prep football. Doing it back-to-back is nearly unthinkable. Holenka turned that trick with his Shadyside Tigers in impressive fashion Friday night against Barnesville. Having seen Shadyside play on numerous occasions this fall, I expect an extend playoff run by the the Tigers.

THE WORLD Series has come and gone. It was a no-lose scenario for me as I like both franchises. The Cardinals are the model of consistency while the Red Sox have shed their labels of losers on the strength of their third Series title this century.

KUDOS TO The Bellaire Sons of Italy. For the second straight year, the Sons are treating local veterans to a free spaghetti and meatball dinner this Friday from 4-7 p.m. It’s a classy touch by the Sons for a group definitely worth honoring.

THE ST. Clairsville Chamber couldn’t have picked two more worthy Christmas Parade grand marshals than Jennifer and Ed Sargus. They personify class and professionalism.

I CROSSED paths with John Magistro walking into the Ferry-Bellaire game Saturday afternoon. The Big Reds’ coaching great closed out his Westerville Central season in grand fashion, demolishing Dublin Jerome Friday night, 40-3. The Warhawks will enter the postseason with a sparkling 9-1 ledger. They will host a first-round game.

SPEAKING ABOUT the SPARKY matchup Saturday, the crowd was a big one, but not as large as the Big Reds’ meeting with Shadyside in week 3. It is hard to believe the game was not broadcast on radio.

Kapral may be reached at