The season of giving has arrived

THE HOLIDAY season unofficially arrived Thursday. It came in the form of the Salvation Army’s “Kettle Kick-Off” at the Ohio Valley Mall.

Now red kettles and bell-ringers will be seen throughout the Ohio Valley, collecting for those less fortunate. The kettles are just one way to step up and help the needy.

The mall ceremony also unveiled the Giving Tree, which provides new toys and clothes for children in need through donor support. The Giving Tree is decorated with paper tags that list the first name, age, and gender of a child. Contributors remove a tag and buy appropriate gifts for the described child. The Ohio Valley Mall’s Giving Tree is sponsored in part by The Times Leader.

Shadyside also has a Sharing Tree which collects toys for the less fortunate. Toys for Tots has been a long standing tradition in the Ohio Valley while The Fraternal Order of Police Associates Lodge #13 holds an annual toy drive in the St. Clairsville area

There are less than 40 days until Christmas. Many have already launched their holiday shopping, myself not one of those.

But while we spend countless amounts of money on family members and loved ones, I encourage all those with the ability to help those in need to do so, in any of the aforementioned fashions.

The last few years I have stopped the practice of sending out Christmas cards. Rather, that money is channeled to charity. It’s not enough to break the bank, but every little bit can provide a toy to a youngster on Christmas who might not otherwise have a gift to open.



A BARNESVILLE HIGH graduate’s son is a star on one of the premier state prep grid programs in Ohio.

Ross Demmel is a 6-3, 265-pound offensive tackle for Division I juggernaut Cincinnati Colerain. He is the son of the former Anne Cheffy, a 1985 Barnesville High grad. Demmel is a two-year starter for back-to-back 10-0 Cardinal teams.

Colerain defeated Springboro, 41-14, in last week’s opening round of the Division I OHSAA playoffs. The Redbirds faced 8-2 Pickerington Central last night, in a game which ended after we went to press.

In Colerain’s regular-season final against Oak Hill, he was presented the scholastic athletic award along with a member of the Oak Hill team.

Ross, who is Cardinals’ co-captain, is attracting strong interest from MAC recruiters.

His grandparents are John and Mary Ann Silverio Cheffy. Mary Ann is a Shadyside High graduate.


TIMES MUST be really tough in Bellaire. When reading the police reports from the All-American Town this past week, one stood out. On Tuesday, it was noted that a parking meter and pole were stolen in the 3100 block of Belmont Street. The meter, pole and contents were valued at $500.

WHEELING HOSPITAL’s Dr. Gregory Merrick presented “Moving Up” Thursday night at St. John Central, attracting a nice-sized turnout. Students and their parents from several schools, including Wheeling Park, Linsly and St. John’s took part in the informative session. The 90-minute seminar is designed to help prepare student-athletes for the transition to college. “Moving Up” addresses the concepts of mental toughness, training/learning and error management, NCAA academic requirements and guidelines to navigate the recruiting process.

KUDOS TO Martins Ferry High Athletic Director Kim Appolloni and her legion of workers for serving as superb hosts for the Purple Riders’ home playoff game against Williamsport Westfall. The Dave Bruney Football Complex is an ideal venue for OHSAA playoff games.

CHRIS BERHALTER heads to the bench this week. The outgoing Belmont County prosecutor will be sworn in Monday as Northern Division Court judge.

THE BELLAIRE Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon/meeting will be held Thursday, at noon, in the Community Room of Bellaire Public Library, 330 32nd St. The cost of the luncheon is $7. There is no charge to attend the meeting. All local business owners and their employees are invited to attend. Reservation are due by Tuesday, by calling the chamber office 740-676-9723 or email

LOCAL RESIDENTS are invited to decorate a live tree for the inaugural Christmas in the Park Celebration planned Nov. 29-30 at the City Park in Martins Ferry. Registration fee is $40. Judging will take place on Nov. 30 at 4 p.m The trees will be available to decorate the week prior to the event. Participant will have the option to keep the tree, donate the tree to a needy family or dedicate it to a loved one or favorite non-profit organization. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. Make checks payable to the Martins Ferry FOP Lodge No. 78.

IT WAS nice pumping gas in Bellaire Saturday morning at $2.90 a gallon. You can bet it won’t be long before prices begin an upward movement.

Kapral may be reached at