DAN MARLING has proven a major asset to the All-American Town in his role as Bellaire village administrator.
Marling's efforts have resulted in much progress throughout the town. He has also been a unifying presence in an often-disjointed community.
Looking back at 2013, Marling accomplished much.
He re-established safety programs, filled the code enforcer position as well as the CDL driver for the service department while also updating the village employee handbook.
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Other accomplishments in 2013 include: improved communication in many areas, as Marling meets regularly with council committees, meets weekly with department supervisors, provides daily mayoral reports, represents the village at county meetings while also making himself accessible and accountable to village residents.
Needless to say, 2013 was one which saw Bellaire taking some steps forward. Much more needs to be done.
The affable administrator has his game plan in place for 2014. Topping his agenda includes:
"Bellaire will continue to move forward in 2014," Marling said. "We have re-affirmed the foundation to operate the village, under Mayor DiFabrizio's leadership, and as long the funds hold out, you will continue to see improvement."
FORMER ST. John Central hoop all-stater Michelle Bielanski-Filander is turning around the Austin College women's hoop team. Michelle, now in her third year at the helm of the Sherman, Texas-based Division III school, has the Lady Kangaroos at 4-4. She took over a down-trodden program after a highly success career as assistant coach at Washington & Jefferson. The 1997 St. John's graduate earned a D-I hoop scholarship to Robert Morris after scoring 1,436 points for the Lady Irish, while twice being named all-Ohio and leading SJC to three OVAC basketball titles.
MOUNTAINEER CASINO, Racetrack & Resorts, donated 2,245 cans of food to the Salvation Army last weekend during a canned goods drive at the casino.
"We are pleased that Mountaineer Casino, through the generosity of our patrons, is able to help the Salvation Army collect food for those in need of assistance during this holiday season," Chris Kern, general manager said. "We applaud the Salvation Army and our patrons for providing for needy families who may be having a tough time putting dinner on the table."
The canned goods drive was held in the Mountaineer Casino hotel lobby on Saturday, Dec. 21. More than 400 guests donated five cans of food each.
CHRIS DAUGHERTY is a coaching success story. Wheeling Park's head football coach is coming off a stellar grid season. He has elevated the Patriot football program at a high level. It is a time-consuming effort. Consequently, Doc has opted to yield the head-coaching duties with Park's boys' track team. He led the Patriot thinclads to great success, including a state title, state runnerup and 10 OVAC titles. Most of all, Doc did it all with total professionalism and class.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED named Peyton Manning as its Sportsmen of the Year. I think the Denver Broncos' QB is special but my choice is David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. He helped bring the city together after the Boston Marathon bombings and later almost single handily carried the Red Sox past the Cardinals in the World Series.
IT IS never real exciting going to work the morning after Christmas. Fortunately, mine got a nice jump start. I stopped to get gas at 4:30 a.m. and I ended up playing with Ecko, Martins Ferry's police canine. Ecko was on duty with his handler, officer Chad Kuhn.
U.S. HOLIDAY shoppers spent a whopping $110 billion on gift cards this Christmas.
ERIC FROHNAPFEL caught two passes in helping Marshall defeat Maryland in the Military Bowl Friday. The 6-6 tight end is the son of Steve Frohnapfel, a 1979 St. John Central grad who starred for Ty Fleming. Eric's twin brother, Blake, is Marshall's backup QB. Marshall ended the season with 10 wins.
ANOTHER YEAR is poised to exit, and 2013 will be remembered for many reasons. For me, the passing of good friend and three-decade co-worker Rich "Hoot" Gibson is what unfortunately stands out for me. Hoot joined the Times Leader in 1981 and quickly demonstrated a unique and entertaining writing style and a zest for traveling and covering big-time events. Hoot was a great writer and even better friend. The Times Leader lost a treasure this past July.
Kapral may be reached at email@example.com