Bellaire VFD answers the opening bell

THE BELLAIRE Volunteer Fire Department was born July 31 at 12:01 a.m. The VFD has only been seriously tested once in those 10 days.

It was a test that the newly formed group passed.

The Bellaire VFD responded to an early morning blaze on Third Avenue in West Bellaire Monday. The call came in at 2:36 a.m. and trucks were en route six minutes later with house-saving measures commencing at 2:45.

The fire was handled despite problems with two hydrants. The Bellaire VFD was aided by firefighters from Spirit of 76 and OR&W.

The one concern from that initial blaze was the number of Bellaire VFD personnel on site. The group has 20 volunteers, but only eight responded. That raises some eyebrows.

Chief Bill Swoyer attributes the small turnout on a paging gaffe. He said it has since been corrected.

The response time was fine. Sixty percent of the department being no-shows isn’t acceptable.

The Bellaire VFD came into existence shrouded in doubt and disgust. The court of public opinion weighed heavily in keeping the Neffs Fire Department serving the village.

Consequently, the Bellaire VFD is under the microscope to deliver. The department delivered in its debut. It needs to do so every time out or the critics will grow louder.

BUBBA’S BITS

THE GREAT Viaduct Society Celebration unfolds Saturday with an impressive list of speakers, activities and entertainment. In the event of rain, all entertainment, commencing at 5 p.m., will be held in the Bellaire High School Auditorium. The Shadyside Community Band will be performing at 5:30 p.m. and the Diamond Project Band, an excellent Neil Diamond Tribute Band, will be performing at 7-9 p.m. If the weather is good, all entertainment will be at the Gazebo. We encourage everyone to get to the All-American Town and take in a superb event.

STATE REP. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was honored Monday as he received the Ohio Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award at the Monroe County Farm Bureau Dinner.

IT WAS reported last week that Belmont Savings Bank donated $6,500 to Bellaire Presbyterian Church’s third annual school supply mission to benefit “Students in Need” at the Bellaire elementary, middle and high schools. The bank tacked on an additional $3,500 to make it a $10,000 gift to a most worthwhile cause. Again, we commend Belmont Savings President Tom Poe and his staff for their ongoing and generous efforts to help needy causes.

I DON’T know much about Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald. It amazes, me, however, that a man of such stature could allow his driver’s license to lapse for more than a decade. The Cuyahoga County executive did so from 2002 to 2012.

LEBRONMANIA is remarkable. King James attracted nearly 30,000 well-wishers to InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron campus for his first public homecoming event Friday. The Akron Zips’ football team has not attracted a crowd that size this century.

AFTER TAKING in media days at Indian Creek, Martins Ferry and Cambridge this past week, the football juices are flowing. The 2014 prep campaign cannot kick off soon enough.

BILL MAZEROSKI’S legendary walk-off home run trot in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is featured in Sports Illustrated’s 60th Anniversary Issue which came out Thursday. The magazine is asking readers to pick out the most thrilling 12-month periods of the last six years.

BELMONT COLLEGE will offer its welding certificate program in Monroe County this fall. The nine-month certificate program classes will be offered in the evenings at the Swiss Hills Career Center beginning Aug. 25; six welding classes are included. Graduates of the program will be able to MIG, TIG, and stick weld, along with oxy-acetylene welding and cutting. For more information or to register, contact Janelle Comstock, off-campus coordinator, at 740-472-5468.

THE OHIO Valley River Museum in Clarington will be hosting a job fair Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Four of the largest riverboat companies will be present, taking applications.

THERE WERE reports last week indicating that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was gaining support as a candidate for The White House. I would be all for it. Despite being a Democrat, Manchin is a non-partisan politician as they come. However, a West Virginian stands a snow ball’s chance of being elected to the Oval Office.

THE JEFFERSON County Fair opens Monday at Smithfield’s Friendship Park. It is a great place for family fun and the ideal way to close the pre-school summer season.

DURING LAST weekend’s PGA Bridgestone Invitationa at Akron’s Firestone Course, Sergio Garcia handed one of his golf balls to Reed Liberatore while leaving the green during Saturday’s third round. Reed is son of Bellaire native and former St. John Central athletic great Ty Liberatore. They reside in Green, an Akron suburb.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com