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Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To 16 Lakeview Middle School students and their teachers that took part in a middle school diversity conference this month at John Carroll University. The valuable experience consisted of conversations about religion, race and sexuality in breakout sessions where students were mixed with kids from other schools and in large groups. One seventh grader who participated said the message was “don’t judge a book by its cover.” That’s a wonderful lesson to learn.

• ONION: To the landlords in Girard who, according to the mayor, often do “mass cleanouts” of properties after tenants move out, leaving everything on the grass strip by the curb, regardless of when the trash pickup is. The debris often sits there for days and ends up costing the taxpayers money in terms of manpower and roll-off trash receptacles to remove the junk.

• ORCHID: To Mary Lou and Basil Jarrett, who have played a huge role erecting flags on the King Graves Road bridge that crosses state Route 11. The two partnered with the Four Seasons Garden Club and Warren Junior Women’s League, both of which Mary Lou is a member. The patriotic display is breathtaking to motorists who pass by.

• ORCHID: To Travis Pownell of Youngstown, who at age 17 had saved the life of a Marine Corps veteran choking in the restaurant where Pownell worked. The incident happened 25 years ago, and the two met again for a reunion this week. Orchid also to Raymond Hanzes, now 87, of Newton Falls, who never forgot the life-saving gesture. In fact, the moment had an enormous impact on both of them. After Hanzes sent Pownell a thank you note and some cash back then, Pownell treasured the note for 25 years. In fact, he carried it with him when he reunited with Hanzes.

• ONION: To shoppers who hoarded massive supplies of toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other important items during the COVID-19 health crisis. Being prepared is important, but it does not mean panicking or overreacting and cleaning out store shelves of items needed by everyone.

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