Politics, renovations, motorcycles

Taking some time to get caught up:

It seems that with every election cycle, the campaign season gets longer and longer.

There was a time not too long along that there was a lull between the primary election and when full-fledged campaigning resumed for the fall general election.

That time has started to dramatically shorten, and, if you’re looking for a good example, you need look no farther than the run-up to this November election.

A couple of area races come to mind, the battle for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District seat and the race for the 96th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Democrat Jennifer Garrison wasted little time after receiving her party’s nomination in the May 6 primary before beginning her campaign against incumbent Republican Bill Johnson to represent our portion of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives. Johnson, like Garrison, calls Marietta home.

In the Ohio House, meanwhile, Republican Ron Ferguson of Wintersville also was in full campaign mode shortly after the primary in his bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Jack Cera of Bellaire.

The general election is still more than three months away – it’s set for Nov. 4 – which means area residents should have plenty of opportunities to become familiar with the candidates before they cast their ballots.

If you haven’t had the chance to see it for yourself, you really should schedule some time to visit the renovated Finnegan Fieldhouse at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The $5 million project increased the size of the fieldhouse by 17,000 square feet. The much-anticipated renovation has certainly changed the look of the facility, which serves as home to the Barons’ mens and womens basketball teams, as a banquet hall and as as general meeting area.

New offices, lockerrooms and a space for the Barons Hall of Fame are all a part of the changes, but what appears to be the most impressive is the 5,100-square-foot fitness center. The facility features state-of-the-art equipment, a strength and flexibility training room and an expanded aerobics room.

Members of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce who participated in the Business After Hours event held July 9 at the university had the opportunity to see the renovations for themselves, and everyone who took advantage of a tour came away impressed.

The university is committed to helping to improve the health of all its students, making its Division III athletic program a success for all of its athletes and giving coaches and administrators the facilities they need to do their jobs. The renovations at the fieldhouse go a long way to helping the school achieve those goals.

One of the area’s most-anticipated events of the summer happened last Sunday when the United Way of Jefferson County held its 15th-annual Memorial Pledge Ride.

Conducted in memory of Cliff Brewer, the event attracts motorcycle riders from all parts of the county each year and always helps provide a large sum of money for the United Way campaign. This year’s ride started and ended at Manfred’s Lounge on Sunset Boulevard and raised more than $6,000 for the United Way.

It’s just another example of people coming together to help each other.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)