Boston bombings yield many questions

It was a week Bostonians will never forget; the entire nation for that matter.

What started out Monday as another joyous Patriot Day holiday in Beantown turned quickly and painfully into tragedy, courtesy of two pressure-cooker bombs, planted by two sick brothers.

Five days of turmoil, anxiety and uncertainty gained some sense of order late Friday night when the second brother was taken into custody. That came on the heels of his brother being killed in a fire fight with an army of law enforcement personnel.

While the two bombers have now met their respective fates, Monday’s deadly events still spawn many questions still in need of answers.

Topping the list is the FBI’s past probing of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older bombing brother. The FBI was asked by a foreign country to check into his possible terrorist training and with his six-month visit to Russia. The FBI did not find any radical behavior so it let him escape its radar. Why?

Tamerlan and 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar set off two bombs just seconds apart at the marathon finish line. They were not noted as explosive experts, so it makes sense that they must have been assisted in making the bombs. But by whom?

Moreover, all the explosives had to cost some bucks, so who was funding their mission?

Monday’s explosions also revealed how easy it is to pull off such a heinous act. It shows that it is impossible to totally safeguard a road race, be it 5K or marathon. You cannot patrol the entire race course from start to finish.

Much the same can be said of golf tournaments. It stands to reason that all sporting events are exposed to varying degrees of danger.

That is a disturbing thought.

Hopefully, Monday’s Boston bombings are not a green light for more terrorism on our soil.


WHEN BOB Ney held his book signing in St. Clairsville recently, I had to miss it because of a scheduling conflict. I was hoping to make it because Bob is a lifelong friend and someone I am proud of for bouncing back from his personal pitfalls.

The West Bellaire native has exhibited great resolve in rebounding from his fall from Congress. I was all set to go purchase his new book titled “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill.” However, when I got home Sunday night from a Morgantown basketball mission, Bob had left an autographed copy of his book on my porch. That is a touch of class.

Bob did a lot of great things for his constituents during his political career. He always remembered his roots. Bob has my vote and support if he ever wants to return to the political arena.


THE NFL draft unfolds this week and the Steelers and Browns are in desperate need to bring in some young talent. They both have many holes to fill. The Bengals are in better talent shape than their two division rivals.

The Browns are slotted in with the sixth pick. They need play makers, including a quarterback. However, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is much too good to pass on. He will be a starter day one on the lakefront.

The Steelers pick 17th, barring a trade. They need to put some teeth back in the defensive rush. I say the Black & Gold will select defensive end Bjoern Warner of Florida State if he is till on the board.

The Bengals go 21st. I like Bama running star Eddie Lacy to head to the Queen City.


THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon at the recreation center Tuesday.

City councilmen Chris Cleary and Rob Duncan reported on community happenings. Cleary noted that the city is updating its property maintenance codes. He added that a zoning board and planning commission are in the development stages. Duncan said that several city cleanups are planned and that the city is trying to crack down on littering throughout the town.

They also detailed plans for the annual Picnic In The Park celebration. It will be held June 8, from noon to 7 p.m. Several musical acts are scheduled along with plenty of food, refreshments, games and exhibits.

Chamber committee reports noted that the craft show held earlier this month at the former Hilltop school was termed a “huge success.” Also, the Martins Ferry Schools Academic Awards banquet will be held May 7 at WesBanco Arena. It will be the biggest in district history as 295 students are being honored. It was also reported that planning is under way for the annual Soap Box Derby, scheduled for June 9. The annual clinic is set for May 16.

Martins Ferry School Superintendent Dirk Fitch reported that fourth through eighth graders are currently taking the Ohio Achievement Tests. Fitch also noted that 16 new members were added the National Honor Society Tuesday. They join 24 NHS holdover members.

It was also pointed out the Martins Ferry Park District is holding several fundraisers to generate money to open and operate the city pool.

A spaghetti dinner is being held today at the recreation center, a pancake breakfast is on tap at the rec center on May 18 while the Bridgeport Bob Evans is staging a community fundraiser on May 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone presenting the designated flyer during that time will have 15 percent of their sales go go the park district.


I WAS at University High in Morgantown last weekend for an AAU basketball tournament. The gym is massive and gorgeous. It also featured some Times Leader flavor as three Cal Pokas OVAC Cross Country championship banners were on display for the Hawks’ titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

OHIO STATE University has landed a quality head women’s basketball coach in Kevin McGuff. I got to know him when he was an assistant at Notre Dame in the 1990s when I annually worked the Fighting Irish summer hoop camps. He left South Bend to become head coach at Xavier. After much success with the Lady Musketeers, McGuff headed west to find more success at the University of Washington. It won’t be long before he has the Lady Buckeyes playing on the big stage once again.

BELLAIRE’S Chamber of Commerce began mapping out the annual All-American Days Festival on June 6-8 at Thursday’s monthly luncheon meeting. Chamber President Lou Ann Bennett said all Bellaire businesses are asked to participate and if they do not have their business in the downtown area, they are permitted to come up into the downtown area and set up to either pass out info for their business or to sell merchandise from their Bellaire business. For more info, they can call the chamber office.

THE ST. CLAIRSVILLE National Day of Prayer Observance will be held at the Belmont County Courthouse on Thursday, May 2, beginning with music by Linda Dickinson & A Joyful Noise at 11:30 a.m. followed by prayer at noon. Randy Marple of East Richland Friends Church will be the featured speaker.

IT WAS a tough week on the personal front. First, Charlie Wilson died Sunday. Charlie was a friend and a generous supporter of my sister’s memorial scholarship fund at St. John Central. Secondly, Louise Cicogna died Thursday. Her son, Bob, is thr River High girls’ track coach while her youngest son, Michael, coached football and track for many years at St. John’s.

Also Thursday, Richard McFarland died. The former Purple Rider grid star is the father of Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland. Our prayers and condolences go out to all three families.

Kapral may be reached at