Cursive writing return?

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a bill requiring the State Department of Education to develop a cursive writing curriculum by the end of the year. Students in kindergarten through fifth-grade would be targeted.

The bill would not require schools to use the curriculum. Instead, the teaching materials would be available with individual schools having the discretion to implement the classes.

Back in my grandparents’ day, it was called penmanship, a regular feature in all one room halls of learning.

Until their passing, the cursive writing of my grandparents was beautiful and easily read. I wish I could say the same for my writing. If I don’t copy it on a keypad after a day or two, I can hardly remember or understand what I’ve written!

Cougars, Bobcats and Bears

The press accounts of sightings in Belmont County of a cougar, or mountain lion, last month revolved around whether it was this larger, western U.S. animal or the smaller Bobcat that does populate many rural areas of the state these days. Bobcats were common in the state until 1850. The Bobcat’s return has been documented over the past several decades.

Regardless, it reminds me of the great cougar scare of the mid-1960s. At that time, it was rumored a cougar was spotted roaming Doudna Orchards south of town. A pawprint in snow was published as evidence of the big cat’s presence although no photographic evidence was produced.

Also last month, a young black bear was first spotted near the Jamboree in the Hills grounds near Morristown and later in the St. Clairsville area.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, black bears roamed the Buckeye State at the time of settlement. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss rendered bears extirpated from Ohio by 1850. Today, Ohio is again home to a small but growing population of black bears. Ohio’s bear population is estimated to be anywhere from 50-100 individual bears.

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In 1943 while he was serving as Ohio Senator from Belmont County, Enterprise editor Ray Palmer started writing a column he titled "This Week - Here and There." Our modified title is "Here and There."