Roses to the Salem Community Pantry and each and every person and organization supporting it. Last year the pantry served 4,215 people including 1,528 children under 17 years old. Those are startling figures and vividly reflect an urgent need for a continual backing of the pantry. Those service-minded groups and individuals should keep the pantry in mind when planning goodwill projects.
Roses to the United Local boys basketball team. After 14 straight defeats, the Golden Eagles beat Columbiana last week for that first elusive win and the first of Matt Mowery's head coaching career. Getting a boys basketball program under its feet will take some time at United Local and here's hoping Matt will be given every opportunity to do so. This moment was special because it came just days after the death of his mom, Janie. She was a longtime beloved Salem teacher and active civic member who died of cancer. Yeah the guess here is that a tear or two was shed after that first win.
Roses to Salem Fire Chief Jeff Hughes. He was proactive last year in applying for grant money. The result is a federal grant of $46,456 awarded for equipment replacement with just a $2,445 match. What a great deal! Applying for grant money when available should be a no-brainer for taxpayer-paid employees and elected officials. But there are those who never even bother. So good for the Salem FD.
Roses to the Salem High School academic challenge team that survived a close final round to take home its fifth consecutive championship at the county meet on Jan. 28 at the high school. The team will now represent Columbiana County at the Regional Ohio Academic Competition April 21 at Jefferson Community College in Steubenville. This victory marked the seventh time in the past eight years the team has won the tournament, but it didn't come easy as Salem narrowly defeated runner-up East Palestine in the tournament's final round to finish 9-0 and avoid a tie breaker match. Talk about excitement. The Bulldogs finished with seven match victories while Beaver Local and East Liverpool finished tied for third with six. Salem's coach is Elaine Habeger. "There was a lot of great competition this year and I'm proud of our team for rising to the occasion," she said. And we wholeheartedly agree. Beaming with pride and accomplishment, and rightly so, are the champion Salem team members of Stephanie Wood, Nick Costa, Ian Chandler, Thomas Panek, Jocelynne Samu and Ciara Andrews. Roses also to the Columbiana County Educational Service Center which has coordinated the event for the past 13 years.
Roses to Salem Buckeye Elementary second-graders. They participated in the Camp Fire USA's program called "Salute to Hospitalized Veterans." The kids made Valentine cards for veterans in VA hospitals throughout Ohio. What a bunch of sweethearts! It's also good to hear about our young children being made aware of veterans and their importance in our society.
Roses to all the true sweethearts out there as Valentine's Day approaches. That includes the beaming little guy who will bring home from school a colored-outside-the lines handmade Valentine's card for his best girl -?his mom, of course. She will proudly display the artwork on the refrigerator door and will never forget the special moment she shared with her son and the glint in his eye. Thorns to anyone profiting by marking up prices of Valentine's Day gifts, candy, flowers, etc.
Thorns to those we call the "same people, same noise." That would be those who access our site and spew poison about others through our comments funnel. Usually it is about office holders but not always. They hide behind their web names. It is virtually always the same few people doing it. There were many malicious comments made following the posting of two separate subject stories this past week. Some were outright brutal and have no place anywhere including on this newspaper's website. Which is why we removed the comment access for those stories. So a few ruin it for everyone else. We certainly do encourage a healthy exchange of comments, insights and opinions on our site - the whole agree to disagree within the bounds of decency thing. The vast majority of those who comment do keep it clean, keep it non-slanderous and keep to the topic. We thank those mature folks. And for those who feel the Salem News, insert loud chuckle here, was suppressing some kind of freedom of speech by removing the filth from our site, let's do this: the next time you want to comment skip the stealth of the web, send a letter to the editor void of virulence (in other words non-libelous). Oh, and a reminder that your letter can't be anonymous. Show some guts. Include your name (your real name and not some cockamamie web name), address and phone number which is used for confirmation. We will be glad to run such a letter. We do it every week. It's just too bad that comment bins on web sites have become dumping grounds for rumor, gossip, sarcasm, innuendo and viciousness. That's not the intent.
LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor should be as brief as possible and address one topic. The editor retains the right to refuse any letter for print. Anonymous submissions are not published. The editor retains the right to edit any letters for libelous statements or inaccurate statements. Include a phone number for confirmation purpose. Phone numbers will not be published. Submissions can be sent to:?J.D.Creer, Editor, Salem News, P.O. Box 268, Salem, OH 44460. Send emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Virtual Newsroom: salemnews.net.