Orchids and onions
• ORCHID: To Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins for continuing his fight in the nearly 35-year-old death penalty case of Danny Lee Hill, who sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered 12-year-old Raymond Fife in 1985. After the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned Hill’s execution due to his level of intellect, Watkins last week continued conversations with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. In his letter to Yost, Watkins said this: “We must forge ahead in this matter to right (correct, repair, reverse, cure) the ‘unrightable’ (uncorrectable, irreparable, irreversible, incurable) wrong and hopefully see that justice is finally done. The Fife family and citizens of Ohio in this quest deserve no less!”
• ORCHID: To members of the community who were able to provide assistance in apprehending a burglary and arson suspect after Weathersfield Township police put out a social media call for the public’s help. Joshua L. Davis, 20, of McDonald, was arrested just two hours after the Facebook post pointing to felony warrants issued for Davis and Tommy L. Murphy, 42, of Youngstown, stemming from an April 22 crime at Gen-On Power plant, 1047 Belmont Ave., a police report indicates. Orchid also goes to the police department for not shying away from asking for public help. Sometimes outside help is necessary, and police should not be afraid to ask for it.
• ONION: To Newton Falls Village Council for selling 1.65 acres of village-owned property to a private buyer without public bid or auction. The wooded land was sold recently to a neighbor for $100. It does appear the village’s action was legal under Ohio law and Newton Falls charter because officials held a public hearing to discuss the sale before it was finalized by council on a second reading. Still, we believe that in the interest of being good stewards of public funds and public property, village leaders should have advertised the property for sale before agreeing to accept $100 from a buyer.
• ORCHID: To the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for hosting a free fireworks display by Phantom Fireworks at Eastwood Field June 26. The Niles field’s parking lot will be open for “June Boom Drive-In Fireworks,” allowing for enjoyment while remaining socially distanced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many communities canceling upcoming events due to the pandemic, including many July 4 fireworks shows, this fun event will be welcomed and much needed by members of the community.
• ORCHID: To 11-year old Peyton Rapczak, whose creation showcasing the community of Newton Falls in a stamp cancellation is being used this month in Newton Falls Post Office. Peyton’s image showing Newton Falls water tower, the waterfalls and sports symbols was selected from entries from more than 50 local children in a contest coordinated by the Newton Falls Post Office and the Newton Falls Youth Baseball and Softball League. The drawing was approved by the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, D.C.