Roses to Rebekah Zets. How this for an example of one of the many splendid student-athletes coming out of our local high schools? Rebekah just graduated from West Branch. She was a three-sport standout and, more importantly, was a class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade points average. She will attend Mount Union University this fall to study pre-physician's assistant and to play basketball. She was recently honored by the Ohio High School Athletic Association with a $1,000 scholarship - one of only 54 student-athletes in the entire state deserving of such recognition. Criteria used was based on grade point average, ACT score, earned varsity letters and individual and team honors. Rebekah, who earned 11 varsity letters at West Branch, was an All-Northeast Buckeye Conference selection in three sports: soccer, basketball and track. We wish her the best.
Thorns to the ongoing feud over courthouse security between Common Plea Court Judge C. Ashley Pike and Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck. This kind of stuff just does not play well in print - to be read by voting taxpayers who put both men in office. Healthy disagreement is always welcome. Nothing wrong with that. But this is stepping over bounds and needs to be resolved. Having a commissioners meeting disintegrate into a shouting match as it did Wednesday was an embarrassment.
Thorns to any of the idiots out there who will provide kids with Fourth of July fireworks. Just ask emergency room personnel if there is a spike in burns and related incidents this time of year. According to Prevent Blindness Ohio, in 2011, 9,600 people were treated in emergency departments for firework-related injuries, an increase of 1,000 injuries over the previous year. Many were kids. An estimated 6,200 fireworks-related injuries, or 65 percent of people treated, occurred during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. And for those who think, say, something like a sparkler is innocuous and cool to give to a child: sparklers burn at between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees; i.e. hot enough to melt copper. And given the outlandishly dry conditions we have, why encourage a brush fire by wildly launching fireworks? Then, of course, there is the matter of it being against the law in Ohio to discharge most fireworks - you now, the firecrackers, M80s and their ilk. So leave the fireworks to those qualified and visit any of the area fireworks shows that will be going on. It's safer and smarter.
Roses to communities staging firework shows including the one being held Tuesday starting at 3:30 p.m. at Waterworth Memorial Park in Salem Cruisers are welcome - that's been a standard greeting around here! There will be activities such as a petting zoo, bounce house, pony rides, face painting, a dunk tank and more for the kids. The fun day will end with a bang at dusk with the fireworks. Another opportunity for families to take advantage of local, free entertainment.
Roses to the rousing success of another Cruise in Salem. Not only did it pay for itself but a profit was turned. Nifty. Vendors were pleased. Restaurants and bars were pleased. Crime and arrests were minimal, especially given all the people crammed into such a small geographical area. Show car and vehicle participants seemed pleased. The hundreds and hundreds of people who showed up had to have been pleased. Why else would they have showed up in droves through each day of the event? The blimp showed up and the weather was dandy. It was pure summer entertainment and brought so many people together within the core of our city. Keep bringing it back.