THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce dropped the curtain on 2010 at its monthly luncheon Tuesday.
Chamber Executive Director Dorothy Powell noted the chamber enters the new year on solid financial footing, after a busy year of staging fund-raising events. She noted the chamber will begin planning fundraisers for the new year in January, including the Sky Show, Soap Box Derby, bowling tourney, steak fry to name just a few.
She said the chamber will again be sponsoring the popular Academic Awards Banquet in May.
Kevin Neavin will again serve as board president in 2011. Powell noted the Koeze Nut Sale was a successful undertaking.
Powell stressed that the chamber needs to take a lead role in attracting some businesses to the downtown area on Fourth Street. She pointed out the numerous vacant storefronts are becoming an ever-increasing concern.
Powell broached the possibility of enlisting the help of Susan Douglass of the Belmont County CIC to provide some ideas.
ALEX TROUTEN performed a thankless job for the powerful Mercyhurst football team this season, and did so exceedingly well.
The 6 ft., 251-pounder with Ohio Valley roots served as the Lakers' nose guard, a job which is thankless but vital to a stellar defense.
He help anchor a Mercyhurst "D" that help lead the Lakers to the Division II playoffs, bowing in the second round to Shepherd. The former Parma Holy Name all-stater is the son of St. John Central graduates Floyd and Christine (Ney) Trouten.
Alex had 31 tackles this season, with 14 solos, 3 sacks and 5 more tackles for losses. Those numbers are quite impressive when considering his role was to maintain two blockers so the linebackers could make the play.
The powerful lineman began his collegiate grid and academic careers at Ohio University before transferring to Mercyhurst, closer to his Strongsville home.
Alex comes from good stock as his dad Floyd was a four-performer at St. John's accumulating numerous all-star grid honors. He graduated SJC in 1976.
Alex's cousin is Ellie Lemasters, current hoop standout at St. John's.
THE MOVIE "Unstoppable" is still doing well at the box office. After more than four weeks after its release, the action-packed film, featuring extensive Bellaire and Martins Ferry backdrops and starring Denzel Washington, remains in the top 10 at the box office.
IT IS disturbing to see that $19 million was spent on the Joe Manchin-John Raese U.S. Senate race. What a waste of money for a two-year term. It could have been funneled to much more worthwhile and charitable causes.
AS 2010 exits in less than a week, I stand firm on my prediction made earlier this year that we will not see the Bellaire Bridge razed in our lifetime. It was originally targeted to be removed this year prior to Memorial Day, then pushed back to Independence Day, then a Labor Day date was bandied about. The popular span should have never been shut down, but rather renovated and weaved into new Ohio 7 through the heart of Bellaire.
A YEAR can make a big difference. Just check the pumps, as gas prices are 40 cents higher now than at his time in 2009, and for no good reason.
IN REGARDS to the Martins Ferry's financial comeback, we received an e-mail from one local resident pointing out the need for paving work by East Ohio Regional Hospital. The e-mail believes the city is in solid enough shape to pave the roads for one of its largest employers.
KUDOS TO Ohio University Eastern Athletic Director and women's basketball coach E.J. Schodzinski. Thanks to his annual Hoops for Ho Ho basketball camp Wednesday, more than 100 area underprivileged children will receive toys this Christmas.
THE U.S. Census results had a negative impact on Ohio's political clout. The Buckeye State lost 2 U.S. House seats, which obviously will mean fewer voices speaking up in Ohio's behalf on the national stage.
Michigan received more troubling news -- it was the lone state to lose population. The sagging car industry had to drive away many Michiganders to greener pastures.
WE WISH all our readers a prosperous and joyous new year.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com