The Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic is a classic in every sense of the word.
The 38th annual edition of the event unfolded this weekend with a bevy of events. What was once a solo 20K race has morphed into a two-day extravaganza.
The obvious pinnacle is Saturday's half-marathon.
In the early days the run was dominated by African runners. Today, it features a nice blend of a few foreign stars to go with the tri-state's best competitors.
The addition of the 5K run and walk has added a nice option for those not ready or willing to tackle the longer challenge.
Much of the classic's attraction has now moved to Friday, thanks to a trio of popular events.
The Torch Relay is a fitting way to launch the weekend. That is followed by the Ogden Mile and the Tiny Tot Trot. All three have helped turn downtown Wheeling into a beehive of Friday night fun and camaraderie.
The Ogden Classic is a definite rite of spring in the Ohio Valley.
Kudos go out to Shadyside's Joe Foster for again carrying a large U.S. flag the entire half-marathon course and to Bellaire Moose Doddrill for nailing all three of his performances of the national anthem.
THE BELLAIRE Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon Thursday in the public library.
The upcoming All-American Days Festival was discussed. Funding for the fireworks show at the fest are in solid shape thanks to three $1,000 donations: Muxie's Distributing, Bauknecht's-Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Belmont Savings Bank.
Business activity is picking up in town. It was reported that a cosmetology school is planning to occupy the Greystone Building. It is not known when it will open its doors for students.
An electronic recycling center has opening in the Chase Bank Building while Frizzi Customs is in the process of moving from West Bellaire to a downtown venue.
Officials from RJ Ranch & Riding Center detailed operations of their therapeutic riding facility. It is located in Jacobsburg. An open house is planned for June 28.
The Imperial Glass Collectors Society is holding its annual convention June 11-14.
MARTINS FERRY'S Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon Tuesday at the rec center.
Martins Ferry School District Treasurer Karen Blake was the featured speaker. She detailed the operations of the district, which features some 1,480 students. Blake noted the district has a $14 million budget and has currently a $2.5 budget surplus.
Greg Heslop reported on the recent Academic Awards Banquet. It marked the 30th year for the popular event, which has drawn more than 8,000 students during that span.
Chamber President Dorothy Powell noted that the annual Sky Show will be held July 3 at the school campus with a July 5 rain date. Major sponsors for the event are The Times Leader, Citizens Bank, East Ohio Regional Hospital, Riesbeck's Food Market and The Belmont County Tourism Council.
Councilmen Rob Duncan and Russell Armstrong gave the report for the city. They noted the town is dealing with dog issues while a new permanent building is being constructed at the cemetery. It should be completed in a week.
Powell also noted that 20 cars have entered the annual Soap Box Derby planned for June 8. She added the Joseph Sisters will be performing at the race.
Barbara Roman of Softite Credit Union announced the company has expanded and is now offering services in Harrison and Jefferson counties. Its home office remains in Martins Ferry, where it opened in 1969.
WHEELING CENTRAL enjoyed a superb lacrosse campaign this spring. The Maroon Knights advanced to the state championship game, falling to a much larger University team. A major reason for the Knights' success was the stellar play o senior Josh Pawloski. The talented midfielder led the OVAC with 60 goals. He also recorded 14 assists. Pawloski earned first-team all-state honors. He is being courted by several Division II colleges. His father Stan, was a brilliant cross country and track runner at Bellaire High before establishing the 440-yard dash record at Bethany College.
STATE REP. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) will be holding a town hall meeting in Martins Ferry June 16.
THE OVAC dropped the curtain on another season Monday night in the form of the Banquet of Champions. Ron White is flawless in overseeing the classy affair while Harrison Central's Justin Clifford was a popular and most deserving selection as OVAC Coach of the Year.
WE SEND out get well wishes to Paul Riethmiller. The Martins Ferry mayor is battling some tough medical issues.
KUDOS TO the Belmont County Drug Task Force and all the other law enforcement agencies for their recent series of busts. Local authorities recorded a handful of drug busts this past week. Unfortunately, their much-needed work will never completely be done.
I RECEIVED much communication in regards to last Sunday's column, championing the cause of keeping Beallsville High School open. The feedback was all supportive. The longer the Switzerland of Ohio Board of Education fails to make a definitive decision on the school's fate, I believe it becomes more likely Beallsville High School will survive. Unfortunately, the uncertainty may result in some Blue Devil students opting to exit.
KUDOS TO the Bellaire High baseball team in reaching the regionals. Harrison Central captivated the Ohio Valley with a state tourney run last year. Hopefully, the Big Reds can follow suit.
TO ALL military personnel, current and past, thanks for preserving our nation's safety.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org