IF ANY additional proof was needed that the Belmont County economic outlook is brightening, look no further than the appropriations passed by commissioners last week.
The appropriations package totaled $19.6 million for 2014. That is some $2 million more than the 2013 allotment.
That is a sizable jump, one reflecting the county is moving in the right direction.
The obvious catalyst driving the upward surge is the oil and gas industry. Its impact has been massive, but has barely scratched the surface.
When Rice Energy delivers Belmont County commissioners a $3 million check, you realize oil and gas is not big business, but rather huge business.
It will only get better and better. Hopefully, local school districts can broker beneficial leasing deals to ease financial burdens.
One downside is the one playing out at Ormet Corp.
The idled aluminum facility is morphing into a oil and gas producing site, jeopardizing the possibility of it ever reopening as we once knew it.
While Ormet's aluminum future leaks cloudy, Belmont County's is getting brighter.
CARE OF BUSINESS
WILSON "POOGIE" Adams III was a basketball great at Bridgeport High School back in the 1970s for Coach Frank Baxter. He has since carved out a successful niche in the business world.
Adams is vice president of sales, eastern division, for Forethought Financial group. He will share his business expertise in Las Vegas where he will be one of the featured presenters at the ICCFA's Wide World of Sales Conference. It is scheduled for Jan 15-17 and the Rio All-Suite Resort & Casino.
Adams will offer advice from his more than two decades in sales with the funeral profession. prior to joining Forethought Financial Group, Adams managed and operated a successful third-party organization in central Indiana for 13 years.
Adams' parents still reside in Colerain. His daughter Jessica, moved back to the Ohio Valley from Indiana as a senior in high school. She starred for St. John Central in hoops, leading the Lady Irish to a 19-1 record and OVAC title in 1999-2000. She also was a standout shot putter for the Lady Irish.
NEW YEAR'S Eve celebrating may be overrated. A national survey noted that 78 percent of Americans stay home on Dec. 31 instead of heading out for reveling.
THE OHIO State Highway Patrol reported that three people were killed on Ohio's roadways during the New Year's holiday, which spanned midnight, Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 through 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Last year six people were killed during the same two-day holiday reporting period. Troopers arrested 162 drivers for impaired driving, an increase of 27 percent when compared to last year's holiday. In addition, troopers cited 222 people with aggressive driving, an increase of 37 percent and arrested 53 motorists for drug-related offenses, an increase of 21 percent.
THE BELMONT Soil and Water Conservation District is now taking orders for its annual tree seedling, wildlife seed and fish sales. Pre-orders are encouraged due to limited supplies. The deadline for tree seedlings and wildlife seed orders is April 11. The pick up dates are April 17-18, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. at 45420 Roscoe Road, St. Clairsville, at the Belmont SWCD building at the new fairgrounds. Deadline for fish orders is April 2 and the pick up date is April 3, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the SWCD building at the new fairgrounds. For additional information, contact Liza Butler, Wildlife/Forestry Specialist, at (740) 526-0027.
THE MARTINS Ferry Democrat Committee is seeking applications for the unexpired term of the City of Martins Ferry law director position. Requirements are: Applicant must be a certified lawyer practicing law in the State of Ohio, and must be a resident of the City of Martins Ferry. A letter of interest must be mailed to Martins Ferry Democrat Committee, Phil Wallace, secretary, 801 Spring Haven Drive, Martins Ferry, OH 43935, no later than Jan. 10, 2014.
PENN STATE lost a great coach when Bill O'Brien opted to go to the NFL and the Houston Texans. No one could have picked up the pieces from the Jerry Sandusky scandal than O'Brien. His two-year 15-9 record with the Nittany Lions was remarkable.
SPEAKING OF college football, it comes to a close Monday with the national title game between Florida State and Auburn. It won't be a contest as the Seminoles cap a perfect season.
WITH THE big chill ready to spread its icy grip on the Ohio Valley, we urge everyone to take the utmost precaution.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org