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The retirement of an area icon

Dear Editor,

Mr. Robert “Bubba” Kapral has recently announced he has retired from his outstanding career in local journalism after 42 years of outstanding service in keeping area readers such as myself very well informed.

I would like to take this opportunity to respectfully refelct on his laudatory career and much-appreciated work.

Mr. Kapral, whose career in professional journalism began as a sports writer in July 1978, working under the tutelage of another local journalistic sports icon, Mr. Calvin Pokas, at The Times Leader in Martins Ferry.

He also later worked as managing editor of The Times Leader for a period of approximately 10 years.

This was followed by his most recent assignment as executive sports editor for The Times Leader, Wheeling News-Register and The Intelligencer, during which he was highly respected for his professionalism, dedication and professional integrity.

Journalistic professionals the caliber of Mr. Kapral are rare, indded, on any level, and he will undoubtedly go down in Ohio Valley sports journalism history with the likes of the aforementioned Mr. Calvin Pokas and the equally iconic Bill Van Horne.

In addition, Mr. Kapral had an outstanding coaching career at his alma mater, St. John Central High School in Bellaire, serving as track and girls’ basketball coach for over three decades, and in 2017 compiled an excellent book on the history St. John’s football, titled “St. John Central Football: Celebrating 90 Years of Irish Tradition (1925-2015).”

Personally, in addition to very much enjoying his keeping us informed as to what was happening in the world of sports, I am also grateful for his professionalism and assistance in his position of managing editor of The Times Leader and during his tenure on the Martins Ferry Hall-of-Honor Committee for publiciaing and promoting our events, and highlighting the deeds of our inductees over the years.

I am very grateful to Mr. Kapral for his outstanding professioinalism and service to the area, and I am most proud to consider him a friend.

I wish him a long and happy retirement.

Also, I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Debbie Curnes, who also recently retired from The Times Leader for her many years of deicated service, as well.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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