Orchids and onions
• ORCHID: To Pastor Loretta Pernice, founder of Pathway Sober House, and all those who have donated to and helped operate the agency through the years. Pathways this year marks its 20th anniversary of helping people break the bonds of addiction.
• ORCHID: To musician and O.A.R. band member Jerry DePizzo, who returned to his roots last week to make a big donation of new musical instruments to Liberty High School’s music program. DePizzo, a 1997 Liberty graduate, donated three Yamaha concert tubas valued at $12,000. He said education and opportunity provided by Liberty High School helped enable him to live his dreams, and so he wanted to give back to the community.
• ONION: To all public entities that allow employees to use sick time when they aren’t sick and that allow new vacation and sick time to accrue when an employee is on administrative leave. Vienna police officer Michael Sheehy, facing criminal charges of theft, theft in office and possession of criminal tools, rightfully was placed on unpaid administrative leave. Still, he continues to collect a paycheck by using his taxpayer-funded sick time. Officials expected that to end when Sheehy’s sick and vacation time were spent. However, Sheehy was awarded new weeks of vacation at the beginning of the year.
• ORCHID: To Mercy Health and its Howland Medical Center that expanded operations this week to the second floor of the Niles Cortland Road medical facility. The new 25,000-square-foot space doubled the number of primary care doctors operating in the facility. The $7 million improvement makes the facility more of a “one-stop shop” for patients, ensuring health care is even more accessible and convenient for nearby residents.
• ORCHID: To agencies and local communities offering warming centers during this week’s polar vortex deep freeze, ensuring that, in the event of emergency, everyone had a warm place to go.
• ORCHID: To Warren firefighters and police officers, to Trumbull County 911 dispatchers and to the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Howland for their involvement in a unique rescue of a seriously injured 30-pound swan from a frozen pond this week and getting it needed medical attention. The swan had been struck by a car, and crews were called to help when neighbors found it bloodied and battered on a frozen pond near East Market Street in Warren. The swan is expected to make a full recovery.