Casting a yes vote for new polling site

IT IS good to see that the Martins Ferry School District has signed off in allowing Ayers Elementary School be used as a polling site.

The school complex provides an excellent location for Purple City voters, who had to trek to Colerain in the November election. Ferry voters, however, will need to bite the bullet one more time, as they will again trek to Colerain for the May 6 primary. That will set the stage for November voting at the Ferry elementary school, hopefully for many years to come.

Martins Ferry school officials took an extra step and made election day an inservice day, meaning students will not have classes that day. Such a move yields enhanced safety and minimizes any potential problems.

The Belmont County Board of Elections worked feverishly to find a suitable polling site in the city for last year’s November election. Most people do not understand all the requirements a building must meet to be a certified polling site.

Ferry only has a few such facilities, none of which was made available to the election board. Consequently, election officials took unjustified heat in the last election for sending voters to Colerain. The board’s only other option was sending Ferrians to the James Carnes Center in St. Clairsville.

Could you imagine the fallout if the election board sent Ferry voters to St. C.? The board made the right call.

The recently minted polling accord should be one Purple City residents welcome with open arms. Ferry school officials get an A+ for aiding the electoral process.

FERRIAN

PERFORMING

THE BROADWAY Touring production of West Side Story is scheduled to be performed in New Philadelphia at the new Kent State Auditorium on Tuesday and Wednesday

Matt Webster, son of Rev. and Mrs. William Webster of Martins Ferry, is an actor in the play. Matt is a 2007 graduate of Martins Ferry High School and a graduate from WVU’s College of Creative Arts with his BFA. Matt’s fiancee, Mary Joanna Grisso, plays Maria. She is from the South Hills in Pittsburgh. She also earned her degree from WVU.

Since October they have been on the North American Tour of West Side Story, traveling to Alaska, through Canada and throughout the Continental USA. Matt is also a playwright. His first play, ‘Kingdom Come’ won Best Musical at the 2012 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival.

BROOKSIDE FEST

BROOKSIDE PARK District #9 will be holding its Second Annual Community Days-Summer Kickoff on Saturday, May 31. The activities will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will include garage sales, a large rummage sale, craft/vendor fair, sidewalk sales, all day music by a D.J. and a wide variety of foods.

There will be free activities for the children-including inflatables, face painting and much more. Festival officials are looking for nonprofit groups (no fee to set up) and profitable groups with a $30 fee to set up along U.S. 40. If you are interested, please contact Patti Millard at 740-738-0537.

BUBBA’S BITS

BELLAIRE SCHOOLS Superintendent Tony Scott was recently awarded a two-year extension by the Bellaire Board of Education. It was a 4-1 board vote.

AN EASTERN Ohio native is now the winningest prep girls’ basketball coach in Ohio annals. Dave Butcher of Pickerington North now boasts an overall record of 700-99. He coached Pickerington from 1983-2003 and Pickerington North from 2003 to the present. Butcher’s teams have captured 24 district titles, 23 Ohio Capital Conference championships, 12 regional championships and six state titles. Butcher is a 1973 graduate of Toronto High School where he lettered in basketball, football and golf and is a member of the Toronto High School Hall of Fame.

P OWHATAN POINT Village Council followed the lead of Martins Ferry and raised its income tax by .25 percent to a full 1 percent recently. The village is trying to recoup some of the $115,000 in revenue it has lost in recent years. Much of that loss is attributed to massive Local Government Funding cutbacks. With LGF money gone, communities have little recourse but to rely on taxes.

THE THIRD fundraiser for the operations at the Martins Ferry pool will be held today at the recreation center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can dine in or carryout. Adult dinners cost $7, children 6-12 $4, 5 and under free. Menu consists of spaghetti with meatballs, salad, rolls, beverage and dessert. All proceeds go toward the pool opening this summer.

RETIRED MUSKINGUM University men’s basketball coach Dr. Jim Burson has recently authored his first book. It is titled “The Golden Whistle: Going Beyond: The Journey to Coaching Success.” It is available at Amazon. Dr. Burson coached Muskingum for 38 years, winning 542 games. That total is second all-time in the ohio Athletic Conference. He led the Muskies to five NCAA tourney berths.

CONGRATULATIONS GO out to Adam & Marci (Bonar) Quirk on the birth of their first child Wednesday. They are the parents of Jackson William, who entered the world at 7 lbs. and 11 oz. and 20 inches in length. Mom, dad and son are all doing well. Adam was a former all-Ohio quarterback at St. Clairsville High and later a starting QB at Ohio Northern. Marci is the current Bellaire High girls’ hoop coach, where she surpassed 1,000 points in her prep playing days.

THE OHIO Department of Natural Resources is making a massive investment in state parks. ODNR announced Wednesday that it is pumping $88 million into the state’s 74 parks. If broken down equally, each park will get more than $1 million, which is great news for Barkcamp and Salt Fork. Both are already scenic recreational venues. A million dollars can take each to another level.

THE NBA playoffs are resembling the NHL’s postseason, as home teams are no longer locks to win.

TUESDAY IS the final day we will publish election-related letters in conjunction with the May 6 Primary. Virtual newsroom or e-mailing is the quickest route to ensure publication.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com