OHIO'S PRIMARY election is just nine days away. In order to educate Belmont County voters somewhat better, a "Meet the Candidate Night" will be held this Tuesday at the Lansing Community Center.
The political forum will run from 6-8 p.m. and will feature 13 candidates. Pastor David Demarest is cast in the role of moderator.
Scheduled to take part are Belmont County hopefuls: treasurer, Michael C. Bianconi (D), Katherine Kelich-Curfman (D) and Michael Shaheen (D); sheriff, Dick Flanagan (D), David Lucas (R) and Fred Thompson (D); commissioner, Lyle Bumgardner Jr. (D) and Ginny Favede (D); U.S. Congressional 6th District, Cas Adulewicz (D) and Charlie Wilson (D); State Rep. 95th District, Charlie Daniels (D) and Jim Drake (D) and U.S. Senate, David Dodt.
Everyone is welcome to attend and participate.
The event is being sponsored by the Community Foundation of Lansing. The community center, located at 68583 Scott St., is the former Lansing Grade School.
In conjunction with the primary election, today -- as I have noted for weeks -- is the final day The Times Leader is publishing election-related letters. If a letter didn't run, we didn't receive it or it was unsigned.
THE BELMONT County Council of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary is preparing to make its annual goodwill junket to the Chillicothe Veterans Hospital.
This year, the auxiliary mission is set for Thursday, April 19.
The ladies are looking for donations to take to the veterans currently in the hospital's care. Items such as crew socks, t-shirts, shorts, tablets, pencils, stationary, pens, candy, gums, chips and Slim Jim are helpful. The auxiliary will also accept house slippers, stamps, caps, new puzzles, toiletries and good clothing. No drying cleaning clothes will be accepted.
As always, monetary donations will be accepted. Donations may be dropped off to Betty Kotson at 4598 Noble St. in Bellaire. She may be reached at 671-3059.
We commend Kotson and the auxiliary for their passionate and ongoing support for our veterans.
THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce is planning to mark the Purple City's 225th birthday with a "old-fashioned" celebration.
"Picnic In The Park" is planned for Saturday, June 9. It will coincide with the city's annual Soap Box Derby race, scheduled to unfold a day later. The picnic will focus on being a child-senior citizen friendly affair.
Plenty of entertainment and food will be featured. It should prove an enjoyable day.
Speaking of the Soap Box Derby race, time trials will be held June 3, with inspections on tap for June 5-6. The June 10 race will mark the 20th anniversary of its running on Martins Ferry streets. Such a milestone speaks volumes of the work of the chamber and its Soap Box Derby committee, as well as the city's businesses and residents.
Councilman Chris Cleary was also at the luncheon Tuesday, introducing himself as the city's liaison to the chamber. Ferry Director of Development Kathy Gagin was in attendance, detailing the city's website.
BOMB THREATS have been plaguing our local schools as of late. It was refreshing to see that Barnesville school officials and local law enforcement agencies have a suspect in custody. Along those same lines, Union Local Superintendent Kirk Glasgow tells me that the person responsible for the threat in his district has also been identified. We commend both the Barnesville and Union Local school personnel for quick and efficient work, which will hopefully reduce future senseless acts.
COLUMBUS BISHOP Hartley junior grid star Jacob Matuska, whose parents are St. John Central graduates, continues to receive Division I offers. This past week, the 6 ft. 5, 240-pound tight end-linebacker was offered by Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish join the likes of powers Oklahoma and Nebraska who have offered Matuska a football scholarship. Matuska helped lead Hartley to the 2010 Division IV state grid championship. Later that school year, he played a key role as Hartley made the state final four in hoops. Jacob is the son of Jim and Beth (Bierkortte) Matuska. Jim was a three-sport star at SJC in the mid-1980s.
THE FLAG is being dropped today on the NASCAR season with the running of the Daytona 500, the circuit's Super Bowl. My choice: Jimmy Johnson.
JUST TWO local girls' basketball teams remain in Ohio post-season warfare. We wish our best to Shadyside and River as they enter the Division IV district tournament at Gnadenhutten. The Lady Tigers face tall and rugged Garaway Tuesday while River takes on perennial power Hiland 24 hours later. We hope Tina Yates' and Rick Isaly's respective clubs subsequently square off Friday night with a regional berth on the line.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com