Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To David Denovchek, the Niles man who gave up a quarter of his liver and about three months of time to a 4-year-old girl he never has met. It is hopeful the organ transplant will save the life of the little girl who has been in the custody of Trumbull County Children Services since her birth.

ORCHID: To Girard resident and U.S. Navy veteran Myrell Scoville, and to the Girard Board of Education that presented Scoville’s son, Mike, with his father’s high school diploma. Scoville, who now is battling pancreatic cancer, had gone into the military during his senior year of high school and never received his diploma.

ONION: To Warren City Council and the city administration for continual delays on a decision about whether or not to merge the city’s 911 emergency dispatch system with Trumbull County’s. If they are missing pertinent information about the potential merger, then stop waiting for someone to hand it to them and just go get it.

ORCHID: To Art Dunn, 77, of Newton Falls, who spent much of April and May walking the perimeter of Lake Erie and then shared the details with a group of fourth-graders in Newton Falls. His message, “Never give up,” was meaningful and well-received.

ORCHID: To Tribune Chronicle spelling bee champ Marie Wallie, 15, of Braceville, who did her best in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week in Washington, D.C. She correctly spelled the words “threshold” and “mesomorph” in Rounds 2 and 3, and correctly defined the word “symbiosis” in the vocabulary part of Round 2. Not too bad.

Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 11 and all the state and local officials involved in rededicating two heavily traveled bridges in Niles as the “Persian Gulf Veterans Bridge” and the “Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Bridge.” Robert Marino Sr., who was heavily involved in the plan, said he wanted to see the bridges dedicated to the veterans who fought in these wars while they are still alive and able to appreciate the honor. We agree and thank them and all veterans for their service.

ONION: To the Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper who left valuable police gear in his personal vehicle parked at his southeast side Warren home last week. The speed radar gun, his trooper hat and Kevlar gloves were stolen from the car, and the trooper, Marshall Williams, told Warren police was fairly certain he had locked the car door, but couldn’t be sure because there were no signs of forced entry. Shouldn’t law enforcement officers be more alert to possible crime? Luckily, the equipment was recovered by police in a stolen car a day later.

ORCHID: To Niles native Hayley Keel, who last week had an amazing finish on CBS reality series, “The Amazing Race.” Keel, a 2004 Niles McKinley High School graduate, and the partner she was paired with for the show, finished in third place. Not bad for the Valley native!

ORCHID: To Camelot Board of Trustees member Cindy Angelo and to her committee for organizing the successful quarter auction benefiting Camelot Riding Center, which is a therapeutic horseback riding center for children with disabilities or who want to learn to ride in a safe environment. The event raised enough money to purchase a needed used tractor. (Submitted by a reader)

ORCHID: To all local members of the high school graduating class of 2015. Congratulations on all your hard work!


Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To all those who stepped up in an attempt to help a 4-year-old local girl who suffers from a fatal liver disease. More than 300 people have responded to a social media campaign by inquiring about the possibility of donating a liver to the girl who has been in the care of Trumbull County Children Services since birth.

ORCHID: To all the first responders, Emergency Management officials, health care providers, volunteers and others who were involved in planning and implementation of this week’s disaster training drill. Planning and practice make for quicker and better emergency response, and such large-scale involvement only makes that training better.

ONION: To all the parents and other residents who chose not to attend the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) event Thursday at LaBrae high School. Only seven students attended this important Community Awareness Night, and not one parent joined them. SADD planned the event to raise awareness and education on the growing local drug epidemic. What message does this low turnout send to our young people who cared enough to get involved?

ORCHID: To the organizers and participants who dropped off unused pain medications and other drugs during “Operation Empty Medicine Cabinet” this week in Warren. More than 41,000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected at a dropoff operated by the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, Trumbull Ashtabula Group, Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management and others. The event was intended to properly dispose of unused drugs before they end up in the wrong hands.

ORCHID: To Kyle Zellers, a senior at Warren G. Harding High School, who won “Best in Show” in the 2015 Congressional Art Competition for the 13th Congressional District. Kyle’s piece, “The Effect of Insomnia,” will hang in the Capitol Tunnel for one year beginning in June. The works of several other local students also won honors in the contest.


Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To Albert Rich, who was honored posthumously with a Bronze Star this week for his service in World War II. An orchid also goes to his family for their pursuit of the honor and to U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s office for his assistance.

ORCHID: To the new inductees into the Warren High Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, who were inducted last week. They are Dr. Thomas A. Ashley; Rachel A. Blackburn; Jennifer Supancic Cissell; Robert L. Davis Jr; Daniel R. DeSantis; Colonel Nicholas L. Desport; Chris Jaskiewicz; Dr. Christ J. Ticoras; Dean Vlahos; George A. Garstick; and Daniel J. Fiorino.

ORCHID: To Niles City Council for moving forward on a plan to attempt to collect delinquent utility payments. Council put into first reading a plan that would contract with a company to collect payments that date back as far as 1988.

ONION: However, goes to the city officials for letting these large accounts get so far behind. City Treasurer Robert Swauger believes the city can collect fees dating from 2008 to present, for a delinquent amount of somewhere around $5.8 million. Really? How does any city let these accounts get so far behind in the first place?

ORCHID: To all the folks who participated in the program that allowed Kent State University architectural students to present their visions of how to enhance downtown Warren.

ORCHID: To all the survivors, volunteers and participants in this weekend’s Relay For Life in Warren’s Courthouse Square, and at all the local Relays going on this spring. These are wonderful events for a great cause.


Orchids and Onions

ORCHID: To the United Way of Trumbull County for its plans to provide basic financial education and increase access to free income tax preparation for Trumbull County residents as part of its newly announced Partnership for Financial Empowerment.

ORCHID: To Marvin Gordon of Warren, who was honored this week on the 70th anniversary of the day he was freed from a World War II prison camp where he was held for a year. Gordon, who had served in the U.S. Army, was honored at Washington Square Nursing Home where he resides.

ONION: To former Niles city worker Phyllis Wilson, who was sentenced this week to jail and restitution for her theft of more than $142,000 from the city during her employment.

ORCHID: However, to Trumbull Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan who handed down Wilson’s sentence, which includes six months in jail, 200 hours of community service and forfeiture of her Public Employee Retirement System benefit checks until the money is paid back. Wilson also must write a letter of apology to the city. All too often, people who steal from public entities or nonprofit groups receive no time behind bars. While this jail sentence isn’t long, we hope it will teach a lesson and deter others.

ORCHID: To Windham Bombers softball pitcher Brittany Knight, who this week threw a perfect game against the Maplewood Rockets. Knight, who makes it look easy, has three no-hitters and two perfect games in her high school career, and has verbally committed to play for the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.

ORCHID: To the Trumbull County Family Court and Stacy Zisak for the hard work in filing a grant application that was described as an “innovative and productive use of the grant money.” It pointed out the importance of new technology in keeping the courts running smoothly. Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor visited the court this week to present the $33,000 technology grant to be used to purchase high-volume document scanners.


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