Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To Trumbull County electrician Steve Fife, who was honored by his peers for being named the IBEW’s apprentice program Instructor of the Year. Fife teaches the fifth-year apprentice class at the Warren Joint Apprenticeship Training Center, and his students, peers, IBEW local executives and his employer, Joe Dickey Electric, honored him at a brief reception before one of his classes.

ORCHID: To the Champion Police Department for operating a senior watch program for the past 10 years. Residents 62 and older or disabled adults of any age who have a life-threatening illness or injury can participate.

ORCHID: To U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, for their efforts to bring justice in the 2007 murder of area pilot U.S. Air Force Maj. Karl Hoerig, who was killed in 2007. They introduced two bills in the House of Representatives that would clamp down on the suspect’s native country. The legislation is aimed at forcing Brazil to extradite Claudia Hoerig, who fled the country after her husband was found murdered in Newton Falls.

ONION: To the Salem police officer charged with operating a vehicle under the influence. Gary Poage, 47, has pleaded not guilty. Poage, since suspended from the police force, has been a patrolman with the Salem Police Department since June 1993. We have said it before and we will say it again: Public officials and public servants should be held to a higher standard. That certainly did not happen in this case.

ORCHID: To Bloomfield Trustee John Beran, who brought up an idea at the monthly meeting of the need to acquire more gravel for the township before the prices skyrocket next month. He said he plans to call around to see who has the better price for road gravel. We are assuming he expects prices to go up as the oil and gas industry grows due to hydraulic fracturing boom anticipated in the area.

ORCHID: To the Second Harvest Food Bank as it kicked off this week its 22nd annual Harvest for Hunger campaign. The month-long food and fund drive gathers a lot of food to help those in need in the area. Last year, the food bank distributed more than 9 million pounds of food in the tri-county area.