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Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To volunteers and mentors with local Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs. The organization reports an increase in volunteers, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with male participants. Developmental research shows that having even one caring adult in a child’s life impacts the child dramatically. Bravo to everyone who volunteers precious time to help make a child’s life better.

• ORCHID: To artist Ron Moore of Austintown, who presented a drawing of deceased Girard police Officer Justin Leo to the officer’s parents and to the police department, where it will be displayed permanently. Moore called the portrait his “way of giving back. I think the gift of art should impact lives and be a blessing to people.” Leo died in the line of duty when he was shot responding to a domestic call in 2017.

• ONION: Fewer and fewer children are being tested for lead poisoning in Ohio, which could mean more cases of lead poisoning going undetected. The numbers being tested are down about 20 percent, suggesting that some 22,000 Ohio children are going untested, officials said this week. Lead exposure commonly comes from lead-based paint, often used in homes built before 1978; lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies; and from toys painted with lead-based paint. If there is any risk of lead, parents must ensure their children are being tested.

• ORCHID: To 44444, a newly formed charitable group that will help needy residents challenged because of COVID-19. The group targets those living in the Newton Falls 44444 ZIP code. The new nonprofit group recently held an Oktoberfest-themed fundraiser. People helping people is always inspirational.

• ORCHID: To local boards of elections who have been busy lining up hundreds of extra poll workers for Tuesday’s election, and to the poll workers who have stepped up to help make the process go smoothly. Despite Ohio’s growing COVID-19 numbers, Mahoning and Trumbull election officials say they won’t have a shortage of poll workers Tuesday. Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he wants county boards to have 150 percent of the usual number of workers this year to ensure sufficient numbers should someone get sick or not show up.

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