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Orchids and onions

• ORCHID: To communities, volunteers and organizations who went out of their way to make Veterans Day special for men and women who have served, despite challenges and limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many parades and events were canceled out of caution for public safety, some organizations hosted virtual events, including Trumbull County Veterans Services. We regret not being able to recognize our veterans in person this Veterans Day, but we hope they know they always have our respect and gratitude for their sacrifice.

• ORCHID: To Champion Local School District for its participation in a pilot project conducted by The Ohio State University examining COVID-19 rapid testing. According to statistics, 146 students and staff in the Champion school district have been under quarantine at some point since September because of the pandemic. Alarmed school officials are working to find ways to ensure safety in the district.

• ONION: To the Ohio Developmental Services Agency for considering eliminating and reconfiguring grant distribution in the program that sends Community Development Block Grants to communities like Trumbull County that are used to fund projects in low-to-moderate-income areas. Trumbull County Planning Commission Director Julie Green said this week the state agency is considering eliminating the allocation portion of fund distribution and instead basing distribution on only a competitive grant application. Green says that might not be a good idea because it could mean losing reliable funds for needed infrastructure projects benefiting low-income areas. The funds have been well used locally in the past, and we hope the state agency rethinks the plan.

• ORCHID: To ongoing efforts by “Recipes of Youngstown” to raise funds for veteran scholarships. Recipes of Youngstown began as a social media group with the intent of listing hometown recipes. Now, hundreds of recipes make up three cookbooks. Recently, Recipes of Youngstown presented Youngstown State University Foundation with a $15,000 donation for a Veterans Scholarship program. The books will be available for purchase for the holidays at the Youngstown Clothing Company store in the Southern Park Mall or on its website.

• ORCHID: To local Cub Scouts Pack 40 Webelos den, who generously have given their time and talents to gather in Girard to paint ornaments for Christmas trees for use in the Niles McKinley Birthplace Home.

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