Cheers and Jeers
The News-Item’s cheers and jeers for the past week of news:
• Cheers to the effort by a a group of local residents to honor police with their Spring Saunter/Walk to Support Law Enforcement on Thursday night in Shamokin. There was a great turnout, including the presence of some young girls who recognize the value of local police. It’s always nice — no matter the cause — to see the community come together (and getting some exercise in a walk across town on a chilly spring evening — there’s another plus). It was sadly fitting that on the same front page in which we covered the walk was the story on the child porn-suicide attempt case in Shamokin — a reminder of exactly the difficult circumstances that law enforcement face every day that were recognized by the walk.
• Jeers to the Trevorton woman who wreaked havoc with her Ford 150 pickup when she crashed it into parked vehicles along Shamokin Street (Route 225) in the village Thursday, resulting in damage to six other vehicles that simulated a NASCAR pileup. The crash occurred at the busy Route 890 intersection and very near the Trevorton Elementary School, so it’s fortunate it happened at about 10 p.m. when the streets were mostly absent of activity. There’s no word yet on what may have caused the truck to go out of control, but suffice it to say it’s a reminder that responsible driving seems more rare with each passing day.
• Cheers to the volunteer organizers and players in the 13th annual Salvation Army Adult Benefit Basketball Tournament, held this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Shamokin Area Middle/High School. The tournament has become known as a highly competitive event with quality basketball players, including current and recent stars from local high school teams. But more importantly it’s been a major fundraiser for the Salvation Army, which uses the funds to do its good work in the greater Shamokin-Coal Township area. The tournament represents an ideal combination of the lower anthracite region’s love of athletics and its ever-present desire to help the needy in the community.
• Cheers to Southern Columbia Area School District’s establishment of a Development Office — an alumni association of sorts that will tap the emotional ties, school spirit and wallets of past students to further Southern’s goals as a successful school district. The fact that the office will be headed by a volunteer speaks to the underlying desire to help. In this era of teacher strikes, political budget battles and shrinking tax bases, public schools need to be creative in seeking new funding. Taking a page from higher education, Southern appears on the road to the development office mission of creating “a worldwide community of alumni and friends who will partner with the district in its continued pursuit of education excellence through philanthropic donations of money, goods, services and time.” Good luck.