Welcome to Steubenville, Gov. John Kasich.
Our community is proud that you have chosen to deliver this year's State of the State address in the auditorium of Steubenville High School.
It's an historic event, but, then, our community knows a lot about our state and its history. Remember that Fort Steuben was built to serve as a base and protect the surveyors who would help map the Northwest Territory and the land that would eventually become Ohio. Our area also was home to the first federal land office in that territory.
We're happy to share that history with visitors from around the country, and the world, who annually travel to our downtown park to visit the re-creation of the fort the walk inside the land office.
While our area has experienced some difficult economic times, our residents still have pride in their community. There's real feeling that things are starting to look up, and that makes the timing of your speech significant.
First, we have a strong education system, as you have recognized. The accomplishments of the pupils and staff at Wells Academy certainly deserve to be singled out, and honored as the being the best school in the state.
Second, the Steubenville area is located in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which means we are sitting in the center of the nation's - and the world's - next great energy finds. All indications are that the exploration for gas and oil will continue to boost our region's economy.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on both topics during your speech, and our anxious to hear where the state will be heading during the next year and in the future.
Joining you in Steubenville today will be many members of the General Assembly and other government officials, and we welcome them, as well.
Residents sometimes express frustration with the perception that our part of Eastern Ohio is ignored by elected officials in Columbus.
To be honest, we can't say we always disagree with those feelings. That, however, is a discussion best saved for another time.
Today, the eyes of all Ohioans will be focused on Steubenville.
We extend all of them a warm welcome.