THE BELLAIRE Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon meeting Thursday and yielded some nuggets of potential growth in the All-American Town.
It was noted that a major construction is going to take place soon at the 26th Street Commerce Park area. The owner is expected to make an announcement in the near future.
Hughes Xerographic is planning expansion of its burgeoning Belmont Street business. Hughes has purchased the adjacent I.A.C. building, which will likely house the sales staff as well as other things.
The former phone building -- located on Guernsey Street near Belmont Savings Bank -- may finally find new life. It is rumored to be in line to be renovated and reopened by an oil and gas firm.
Also, Hornswogglers, located in the north end of town, is planning to expand.
Moreover, Progressive Bank's massive renovation is virtually completed. It is impressive and a major scenic facelift to the downtown business district.
All the aforementioned projects may not be earth-shattering developments, but in Bellaire small steps may lead to bigger economic strides.
MONSIGNOR MARK Froehlich has been a fixture in the Eastern Ohio Catholic church community for nearly half a century. Msgr. Froehlich plans to retire from active ministry Jan. 31, marking the end of 45 years of service in the Diocese of Steubenville.
The Woodsfield native was ordained May 17, 1969 at Holy Name Cathedral in Steubenville by Bishop John King Mussio. He was elevated to monsignor status in 1987.
Msgr. Froehlich's career was a roadmap through the diocese.
He launched his priesthood career as a teacher at Ironton St. Joseph High School. That was followed by stints at Guernsey Catholic High in Cambridge before becoming administrator at St. Mary's Parish in Temperanceville. A year later he landed as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Neffs. During that time he also taught at St. John Central.
In 1988, Msgr. Froehlich assumed pastorship of St. Joseph's Parish in Wolfhurst and in 2002 also became administrator for Lady of Angels Parish in Barton as well as All Saints Parish in Blaine.
He is currently pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Barnesville as well as St. Mary Parish in Temperanceville.
Msgr. Froehlich is a sports enthusiast. He is a Cleveland Indians' junkie. We wish him well in retirement.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
STEUBENVILLE High's Emiley Masloski has been one of the premier basketball players in the Ohio Valley the last four years. The Big Red standout reached the coveted 1,000-point plateau Wednesday night against East Liverpool. Making the milestone even sweeter for Emiley is that the 1,000th point come off an assist from sophomore sister, Hannah. The talented sisters have Steubenville undefeated on the season. Their dad, Mark, is a former Buckeye West High hoop standout and current Big Red girls' assistant hoop boss. Mark's dad, Chet, was his prep coach.
CAMERON HIGH made an excellent choice when it named Scott Holt as its new head football coach. The former Wheeling Central grid standout was previously head coach at St. John Central before serving as the Dragons' assistant the last few seasons.
ANOTHER GOOD choice was that of Paul Stecker as the new city solicitor for the City of Martins Ferry. Paul exudes class and professionalism and will be a good fit for a city on the rise.
KUDOS TO St. Clairsville Mayor Bob Vincenzo and city officials on the news that the Clarendon Hotel is gaining a new lease on life. The venerable Clarendon is synonymous with downtown St. Clairsville. A Louisville, Ohio company plans to build 12-18 long-term apartments in the building with a projected completion date of June 2015. If the project becomes reality, it would be a great shot in the arm to an already vibrant community.
I WAS taken aback when I heard Pope Francis was auctioning off his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I couldn't envision the pope cruising around the Vatican on a chopper. He was given his Harley by the Milwaukee-based manufacturer in June when the company marked its 110th anniversary. He is auctioning the bike with the proceeds going to a Rome charity that feeds the hungry. "Francesco" is signed on the gas tank. The bike is worth an estimated $16,400 to $20,500 without his signature. The auction is set in Paris on Feb. 6.
SUGAR SHOCK: One of my gumshoes informed me that Nickles Bakery in Martins Ferry, as of Friday, ceased making creme sticks. I have had a few hundred in my lifetime. Hopefully, the report was bogus.
WHAT WAS supposed to be an extended stay for St. John Grade School students is ending after just one week. The grade schoolers were forced to attend classes across the street at St. John Central High School this past week due to furnace problems. The repairs were expected to take several months. But such is not the case and grade school students will be back in their normal classrooms come Tuesday. There are no classes Monday due to Martin Luther King Day.
MY NFL picks today are the Seahawks over the 49ers with the home-field advantage being the difference, while I like the Patriots over the Broncos, with Tom Brady coming up huge again.
ANOTHER BLAST of frigid weather is expected this week. We urge you to take the proper precautions to avoid harm. This Arctic attack may stick around much longer than the one two weeks ago.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org