Bee season in full swing

With the start of a new year comes the reminder that certain events will be coming up very quickly.

One of those is the Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Spelling Bee, presented by the Herald-Star.

The regional bee is scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. on March 10 at Buckeye North Elementary School in Brilliant.

While that date is important, it’s good to keep in mind that it represents the end of a process that began shortly after area pupils returned to school in August.

Room and school bees already have been held, and the participants have been chosen to compete in their school district bees.

This week is the busiest of the bee season for district bees, with three scheduled to be held Wednesday. On that night, the Harrison Hills City School District Bee will be held at 6 p.m. at Harrison Junior-Senior High School, the Edison Local School District Bee will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Stanton Elementary School and the Indian Creek Local School District Bee will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Indian Creek Middle School.

Buckeye Local’s district bee will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at Buckeye Local High School, while the Steubenville City School District Bee will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at Harding Middle School and the Toronto City School District Bee will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at Toronto Junior-Senior High School.

District bees are important — the top eight finishers in each of the district bees will advance to the regional bee, with those who finish in ninth and 10th place becoming alternates.

There will be plenty at stake at the regional bee — the winner there will earn a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, presented by Kindle. That includes an expenses-paid trip to the event, which will be held as part of Bee Week, which will run May 27 through June 1 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

Grace McKeegan, a home-schooled seventh-grader, represented our area in last year’s national bee.

Our local program was started in 1985, and is considered by local educators to be a great learning tool.

We’re proud to partner with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center and a growing list of local sponsors to make the bee an important event on school calendars throughout the region.

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It might seem like it’s a long way off, but Ohio’s primary election is really not that far away — May 8, to be exact.

This will be an important election — on the national level, every seat in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs, as will many seats in the Senate.

Seeking re-election will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, who has represented our region in the House since 2011, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who has represented Ohio in the Senate since 2007.

Ohioans also will be choosing the person who will replace the term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich in Columbus.

That battle has really been heating up — there’s a large crowd of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination, including state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, who on Tuesday announced that he had chosen state school board member Stephanie Dodd of Buckeye Lake as his running mate. Also seeking the nomination are Richard Cordray, who recently stepped down as the head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Connie Pillich of Montgomery, a former member of the Ohio House; former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Copley; Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley; and retiring state Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill.

The GOP primary also will be interesting — the field includes Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and running mate Amy Murray of Cincinnati; Attorney General Mike DeWine and running mate Jon Husted, the secretary of state; and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor — who has yet to announce a running mate.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 9, with absentee and early voting set to begin on April 10.

If you have not registered, get involved and do so — and then make sure you vote.

Or, you can take the easy way out and whine and complain about a system that you have made a conscious choice to not be a part of.

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

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