Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To Howland Board of Education for implementing staff cuts needed to save taxpayer funds. The board cut nine non-teaching positions and will leave open positions of three retiring teachers in order to save some $500,000, in conjunction with the planned closing of North Road Intermediate building next year. No one ever likes to see anyone lose employment, but it’s clear this board realizes hard decisions are sometimes necessary when it comes to managing taxpayer money.

• ORCHID: To teachers and administrators at Howland and Hubbard High Schools, ranked among the top 200 high schools in Ohio and among the best in the nation. Other Trumbull County high schools also recognized by U.S. News and World Report this week were Warren G. Harding, Brookfield, Lakeview, Mineral Ridge, LaBrae, Champion, Girard, Liberty, McDonald, Mathews, Southington, Badger, Newton Falls and Niles McKinley, plus several other area high schools in neighboring counties. Credit also must go to the hard-working students and their parents.

• ONION: To local trucking company, Falcon Transport, that closed its doors this week with no notice, leaving some truck drivers stranded out of state. To add insult to injury, the company notified its more than 500 workers by email that they were out of work effective immediately. That’s a horrible way to handle layoffs.

• ORCHID: To volunteers beautifying Bolindale DeForest Park in Howland Township. About $13,000 were secured through two grants to help purchase materials, and more than 25 volunteers spent Earth Day cleaning the park this month. Volunteers also are building four raised garden beds with plans of teaching park users tips for vegetable gardening.

• ORCHID: To Newton Falls High School seniors who devoted Monday to serving their community as part of the annual Seniors Service Day, when these young men and women volunteer for local businesses, nonprofit s and service organizations. What a great way to close out their high school careers!

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