ORCHID: To Barry Steffey and the rest of the Avenue and Main block watch in Niles. Steffey, who serves as the block watch chairman, helped city police nab a suspect. The entire group sets an example for others concerned about safety in their neighborhoods.
ONION: To Hubbard Township trustees for allowing police Chief Todd Coonce to double dip. The retire/rehire action is the easy way out for trustees, who avoid searching for a replacement. It prevents younger officers from advancing and a new officer from being hired. It also discourages young workers.
ORCHIDS: To Warren Harding Head Coach Steve Arnold, Niles McKinley Head Coach Brian Shaner, Liberty Head Coach Brian Jones and Youngstown Ursuline Head Coach Larry Kempe for earning NE Inland All-District Coach of the Year honors. It's highly unusual for so many coaches from one community to receive such an honor in the same year.
ONION: To Weathersfield trustees for charging a fee when fire, rescue, emergency medical, police or radio equipment are used in responding to a hazardous material or environmental emergency. Taxes should have already been collected to pay for emergency response.
ORCHID: To the Warren Civic League for hosting a debutante ball for 25 years in a row. And an ORCHID to Howland High School student Lauren Ashley Williams for winning this year's Outstanding Debutante award.
ONIONS: To Struthers and Campbell city councils for passing resolutions opposing the municipal court consolidation in Mahoning County. Struthers and Campbell may have legitimate concerns about losing court revenue. Instead of official action condemning the idea, the cities should work more with consolidation proponents to find a solution. The proposal is necessary for government efficiency.
ONION: To former members of the University of Buffalo shale gas research institute, which closed after the university discovered some of the professors had ties to the industry. It's imperative that communities like the Mahoning Valley, trying to capitalize on the shale boom, have accuracy and integrity from university researchers. The Buffalo professors stain the industry's reputation and only serve to incite those who want to sabotage the advancement.