Fall season just around the corner

TODAY begins the final week of August, and Fall is on the horizon. Students have returned to the classrooms and this weekend, King Football makes its return to our Ohio Valley. We wish all teams a successful season and we earnestly pray no one will be seriously injured.

To learn more about your team’s players, schedules and the outlook for the season, make sure you pick up a Times Leader Pigskin Preview which comes out Tuesday.

Even though summer is winding down,we hope there will be a lot of warm weather ahead. So, until Fall arrives in mid-September, we urge everyone to get outside and enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

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LAST WEEK, I received an email from my niece, Rita, in Dearborn, Mich. She told me about the tremendous amount of rain the area received, and of the vast amount of damage and destruction that was inflicted. There were stories of rescue and neighbors helping neighbors and even strangers. She said she was lucky as she got only a couple of inches of water in her basement.

We, in our Ohio Valley are not out of the woods yet regarding the 2014 Hurricane Season. We are now coming to the peak of the hurricane season which began in June and ends in November. The peak hurricane season runs from mid-August to mid-October.

We recently looked at some past issues of the Times Leader and ran into a headline in the Sept. 9, 2004 edition. It stated that Belmont County was declared a disaster area. It was on Sept. 8 when remnant of Hurricane Frances wreaked havoc and caused evacuations and dramatic rescues. Roads and schools were closed as nearly five inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period.

The county was hit again on Sept. 17, this time by remnants from Hurricane Ivan. For the second consecutive week, counties throughout the valley reported heavy flooding which forced people from their homes and caused several roads to be closed. People had to be evacuated from their houses and a St. Clairsville area woman lost her life.

Hillsides came tumbling down and a portion of US 40 in Lansing was washed away. The county commissioners called it “the worst disaster Belmont County has ever seen.”

During that terrible time, we recall the outpouring of support from friends and neighbors and the various government agencies. Fire and emergency personnel and many volunteers worked tirelessly to provide aid to those affected.

May we remember always in prayer those who suffer because of violent storms and let us pray that mother nature will spare us and everyone from such disasters. It is always comforting to know that in our Ohio Valley if we ever need help, there are many people and agencies ready to respond.

We can’t control what mother nature sends us. We can only be prepared and pray and hope we will be spared from damaging rains, winds and devastating storms.

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THE Bridgeport Rotary and Riesbeck’s Food Market are teaming up and will hold a food drive which will take place the weekend of Sept. 13-14 at the Bridgeport store. All items either purchased at the store or donated through individual donations will benefit the Christian Friendship Council’s Food Pantry which aids residents in the Bridgeport school district who need help with their food needs. During the last two years, the food drive filled the pantry with hundreds of bags of groceries totaling thousands of dollars. Residents are advised to mark their calendars for the food drive and purchase bags of prepackaged items at the store or bring items from home.

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THE Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District announced that the 2014 Big Tree Contest is underway. This year’s focus is on the largest true white oak , Querus Alba, within Belmont County. The winner will be recognized at the SWCD’s Annual meeting on Oct. 23.

Entries must be received by Sept. 9. Nomination forms can be picked up at the SWCD office at 101 Market St., St. Clairsville, Ohio, 43950, or they can be mailed or emailed to you.They can also be found on the webstie at www.belmontswcd.org

For more information, call Liza Butler, /Wildlife/Forestry Specialist at (740) 526-0027.

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A SEMINAR dealing with Pipeline Easements and Gas Royalties will be held Thursday, Sept. 11, from 6-8 p.m. in the auditorium at Ohio University Eastern, 45425 National Road West, St. Clairsville.

Presenters and Presentations are as follows: Implications of Pipeline Easement by Mark Landefeld, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Monroe County, and Mike Lloyd, Extension Educator, Community Economic Development, Ohio State University Extension, Noble County.

Dale Arnold, Director, Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, will discuss gas royalties.

The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by calling The Ohio State University Extension Office, Belmont County, at (740) 695-1455.

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THE 2014 Reverse Raffle & Dinner to benefit the United Way of The Upper Ohio Valley will be held Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack. The first place prize of $10,000 is up for grabs. the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an open bar until 7 p.m. followed bya buffet dinner. Ticket information is available by calling the United Way office at (304) 232-4625.

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THE Captina Creek 5K & Family Day Run/Walk will be held at Barkcamp State Park on Saturday Sept. 20. The race starts at 9 a.m. and the Family Day events will go from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 8 a.m and runners and walkers must be present at 8:45 a.m. The race starts at 9 a.m and Family Day begins. At 10:30 a.m. Winners and prizes will be announced. A race t-shirt, runner packet, and light refreshments will be provided to runners and walkers. Registration fee is $15 for pre-registration before Sept. 5, and $20 after Sept. 6 and on race day. You can register oline at www.TheRaceDeal.com.

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THE Barneville Pumpkin Festival Car Show will be held at Barnesville High School on Sept. 28. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first 200 entries receive dash plaques and a pumpkin trophy. Top 75 trophies – Judged Show. There will be door prizes, food and music. Pre-registration is $12 and $15 day of the show. Make checks payable to Barnesville Pumpkin Festival and mail to Darrell Baker, 32046 SR 265, Barnesville, Ohio, 43713. For more information call Darrell at (740) 827-3636 or Jayda at (740) 317-3414.

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WE extend congratulations to Joe Foster, who was named 2014 Civil War Trust Teacher of the Year. He was recognized and presented the award at the Civil War Trust’s National Teacher Insitute in Atlanta, Georgia in July,. He is a 1989 graduate of Union Local High School and is the son of Carl and Marjorie Foster of Bethesda.

For the past 14 years, Foster has taught high school social studies at Waynesfield-Goshen Schools in Auglaize County.