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Orchids and onions

ORCHID: To Champion High School graduate Drake Batcho, who recently signed a deal to play professional baseball in the Seattle Mariners system. Batcho, a left-handed pitcher, has been working hard for this opportunity his entire life, and he told our sports writer he realizes he is blessed to have reached this point. It’s always thrilling to see a local athletic standout be signed in professional sports. We congratulate him and his family, and we wish him great success.

ORCHID: To Boscov’s Department Store for continuing its annual “Friends Helping Friends” event, which raises significant dollars for local nonprofit organizations. The event, held last year during the store’s grand opening, was extremely beneficial for local charitable organizations. The store sells $5 passes to shoppers who want to shop during a one-day, in-store event when the biggest sale of the year takes place. The $5 fees then are donated to charities that sign up to benefit from the event. It’s a wonderful event for the store, the shoppers and, of course, the charitable groups. Bravo!

ONION: To Joanna McCane of Youngstown, who stands accused as the vandal who caused more than $11,000 in damage to the historic Trumbull County Courthouse in November. After she was charged, she defied police and failed to show for court on an unrelated charge. Eventually, she was arrested and freed on bond, but then this week, once again, she failed to show for her court hearing. This is not a joke, and once local law enforcement captures her again, bond must be revoked, keeping her in jail and guaranteeing her court appearance to face these serious charges.

ORCHID: To local communities including Liberty, Vienna and Austintown, which this week celebrated National Night Out, intended to improve and enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement, while creating a sense of community. The event included fun family events, displays of first responder equipment and allowed residents and children to get to know local officers in a friendly atmosphere.

ORCHID: To Aleksandr Walton, the 14th and final Eagle Scout of Howland Scout Troop 122, which is set to disband later this year. All 14 Eagle Scouts were recognized this week at an event at Howland Community Church. Sadly, national changes in the United Methodist Church no longer permit its churches to charter Boy Scouts of American units, leading the troop’s disbanding.

ORCHID: To the operators of Trumbull County’s felony drug court, which is helping to steer some of those facing criminal prosecution on substance abuse-related charges into treatment. Many of these folks need that treatment — not incarceration — to get clean and move on as productive citizens. The program is designed to help them break away from addiction. Over the past five years, Trumbull County’s felony drug court has had 354 people enter the program, with 252 graduating successfully.

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