I HAVE never been a big John Kasich fan. It has nothing to do with party affiliation. I don't put much stock into Democrat or Republican labels.
It comes down to the individual. That is why I am a big Joe Manchin fan. The U.S. senator from West Virginia is a voting maverick. He champions the cause of his electorate, stepping outside the Democratic box when it is in the best interest of West Virginians.
My dislike with Kasich stems from his attack on unions. As a coal miner's son, that struck a nerve with me and several hundred thousand of Ohioans. His union-busting bid failed, but the scars remain.
But I do give credit when it is due.
I have gone on record more than once saying Kasich is a savvy politician. He has been doing good things with the Ohio economy, although he and President Obama battle on who deserves the credit.
Kasich's latest feather in his economic cap was his help with the Yorkville plant deal.
Many people gave up hope that the mill would ever re-open. A proposed deal was being snarled by EPA problems. As Times Leader staffer Kim Loccisano has incisively penned the last two days, Kasich stepped in and helped pave the way to finalize the deal.
That is huge to the Yorkville plant employees and the village, not to mention all Eastern Ohio. If Kasich doesn't intercede, who knows how the situation would have played out?
Kasich, despite his anti-union stance, does have some affection for the Ohio Valley. He delivered his state of the state address this past winter in Steubenville.
We welcome the governor anytime, as long he is bringing jobs with him.
THE BELLAIRE Income Tax Department and the Bellaire Police Department will begin cracking down on delinquent taxpayers in the village. They will start legal proceedings to collect delinquent taxes on individuals who have not filed and/or paid their local village tax for any past years.
We commend such action. The village could use the money. Hopefully, some of it gets channeled to the police department.
Subpoenas will be issued into mayor's court and fines and costs totaling $1,000 for each offense can be charged. Residents and non-residents who have not complied by failing, neglecting or refusing to file and/or pay are urged to contact the Bellaire Income Tax Department, located in the municipal building at 3197 Belmont St., or phone the department at (740) 676-2710 before proceedings begin.
POLICE IN Shadyside are reminding village residents to make sure they lock their vehicles. I received a phone call to that effect Friday morning from the Shadyside police, noting 25-30 vehicles were entered Thursday. The police said many of the vehicles were unlocked. In these tough times, an unlocked vehicle is an invitation for trouble. The police also warned drivers about leaving their cars unattended when they start them in the morning to warm up. Such is a license for theft.
THE CLEVELAND Indians could not have picked a better manager than Terry Francona. He is a proven winner. The Tribe's troubles, however, go beyond the managerial post. The front office has done a pathetic job in the regards of trades and free agent acquisitions.
A WEEK from today (Oct. 21) marks the final day that The Times Leader will publish election-related letters. The letters should be in our hands by Friday. Sunday is also the day our election tab hits the streets.
THE FOREST HILLS Community Association will hold a "special meeting" on Monday at 7 p.m. at the former center. The meeting will focus on how to disperse the funds from the sale of the center. The scholarship committee will discuss input from previous meetings. All members are urged to attend.
WE GIVE out kudos to Richard Hornbeck for his generosity of establishing a new scholarship for Bellaire High graduates.
THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce is holding a Night at the Races on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Hilltop Social Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m. Horses cost $10 and tickets are $15.
Hor d'oeuvres and soft drinks will be served for the BYOB and beer event. A 50/50 drawing and silent auction are also planned. A big screen tv raffle is also being held. For more information, call the chamber at 633-2565.
THE CITIZENS' Committee for Bellaire Local Schools is hosting a Longaberger Basket Bingo on Saturday at the Bellaire High School Cafeteria. Doors open at noon and games begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a 15 game packet and a chance to win door prizes. Extra game packets can be purchased for $5.
No basket is valued under $50. A 50/50 drawing, Chinese auction, special basket raffles and concessions will also be available for an additional cost. Tickets are available by calling Cindy at 740-676-0785 or Jana at 740-695-4867.
LOCAL 23-9 of SOAR Steel Workers of American Retirees has endorsed Dick Flanagan for Belmont County sheriff. In last week's endorsement photo, an incorrect local number was given. Speaking of sheriff's endorsements, Dave Lucas's backing by the Fraternal Order of Police Belmont/Monroe Lodge 6 drew some criticism last week, since Lucas is president of that organization.
JOE GIRARDI is now my favorite Major League manager. Anyone who has the guts to pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez is tops in my book.
RUMORS OF more development continue to abound in Martins Ferry. We hear a national auto parts chain is looking at a couple of Purple City venues. Also, the former Stramboli's is reportedly re-opening under new ownership, with one side also being a bakery. A Dunkin' Donuts may also eventually call Ferry home.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org