THE SHADYSIDE School District has experienced much success in the past 12 months.
Less than a year ago, the Tigers' boys' basketball team was one step away from a state Final Four berth, compiling a brilliant 25-1 mark under Ed Andes.
Mark Holenka was able to take that extra step with the Tiger gridders this fall, marching his Orange all the way to the Division VI championship game.
Now, Tina Yates has her Lady Tigers spotless after 22 games and poised for a very real chance at a state tourney berth.
The biggest victory, however, for Shadyside schools may have come Wednesday when it was announced that FirstEnergy wasn't going to cut and run following the closure of its Burger Plant in Tiger Town. FirstEnergy's generous decision means millions to the school district, $2.8 million to be exact.
The Burger Plant closing was a crushing move to the area, but it is refreshing to see a major company give back despite not having a gun put to its head. The exit plan spans five years, and it provides school officials much-needed time, as well as revenue, to formulate a game plan to make up the loss of Burger tax funds.
Shadyside, like all other local school districts, is working hard to keep spending in line while also making all cuts possible. The bottom line, however, is that the state needs to become a friendlier partner in funding education.
There are only so many cuts that can be made. The state needs to open up it coffers in a more equitable manner. With the current leadership in Columbus, it appears matters are only going to worsen.
SENATE BILL 5
OHIO GOV. John Kasich is just two months on the job. However, he may be sealing his fate on becoming a one-term governor.
Kasich has antagonized the masses with his passionate push for approval of Senate Bill 5.
The bill, which seeks to remove collective bargaining rights for Ohio public employees, from teachers to police officers and firefighters, has sparked a tirade of opposition around the state.
The controversial bill is facing a committee vote this week.
Even if the bill gets shot down, the scars will remain from a bitter battle. Should Senate Bill 5 gain passage, unions in the state will never be the same.
If that wasn't enough to alienate teachers, Kasich is expected to reduce funding for education by 10-20 percent in the near future.
FORMER SHADYSIDE High hurdling star Dom Davolio is now in the prep coaching ranks. Dom is on the track staff at Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati. Dom graduated from the University of Cincinnati where he was a four-year member of track and field team where he competed in the 110-meter hurdles. He was named to the the Big East All-Academic Team all four years. Dom was the 2009 All-Ohio indoor 60-meter high hurdle champion.
During his prep days at Shadyside, Dom enjoyed a stellar career. He garnered five state track & field medals to go with six OVAC gold medals and two regional titles.
Dom is currently employed by Luxottica in Mason. He is responsible for the writing and administration of the doctor's sublease agreements at Luxottica locations.
ROAD CONDITIONS Monday night were as bad as we have encountered in many a year. Traveling from the office in Martins Ferry to home in Bellaire saw Ohio 7 traffic moving at a snail's pace around 9 p.m. I am stunned that the girls' basketball sectional tournament games at OUE were held that night. The nightcap tipped off at 8 p.m. and featured Steubenville and Edison which faced even tougher road conditions up north.
THANK GOODNESS the Carmelo Anthony soap opera came to a conclusion Monday. It was an NBA story that outlived its usefulness.
BOB QUIRK is a great fit as interim clerk of courts for Belmont County. The former assistant county prosecutor and current election board member would be a superb permanent fit in the wake of Randy Marple's decision to step down. Marple deserves tons of praise for three decades of dedicated service to the post.
WEST VIRGINIA Northern Community College is becoming a savior for downtown Wheeling. The sprawling institution of higher learning has down wonders for bringing life and a scenic look to the Friendly City. WVNCC made another major move last week with its intentions to purchase the vacant Straub property. It's a million dollar deal which will revitalize an otherwise dormant portion of the city while also serving as another feather in the WVNCC cap.
REGARDLESS of what respective side they were on, the .75-percent tax is going to take effect soon on residents in St. Clairsville. I have said repeatedly that the tax is a prudent investment for the longterm well-being of the city. Now with the new revenue flowing in, services will be preserved and one of the Ohio Valley's premier recreation departments will continue to be just that. St. C. will continue to grow and avoid the same dilemma as other local communities. Once you have a great town, it is wise to do whatever it takes to keep it that way. The new tax will help to ensure that.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com