The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news:

• Cheers to Southern Columbia junior Gaige Garcia, who won a gold medal at the PIAA Class 2A Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey. Garcia, who finished the season with a perfect 44-0 record, has built a 114-6 log through his first three years of wrestling. He is also one of the most humble athletes The News-Item has had the pleasure of working with in recent memory. The gold couldn’t have gone to a better competitor. Congrats!

• Cheers to the firefighters who spent hours in freezing weather to battle back-to-back house fires that broke out Friday afternoon in East Cameron and Coal townships. The amount of credit given to area first responders is never adequate, and never will be. They truly risk life and limb to keep us safe.

• Jeers to the self-proclaimed sovereign citizens who are making a mockery of the court system after being accused of squatting in a Mount Carmel home. Regardless of innocence or guilt, the two are not cooperating with the very people who are attempting to give them a fair trial.

• Cheers to Northumberland County Resources for Community Outreach for opening a new drop-in center in downtown Shamokin. The new facility will serve as ground zero for those in need of mental health support in the area and will complement the county’s current service network.

• Cheers to Andy Heintzelman, who recently accepted a position as managing editor of the Pottsville Republican-Herald and Hazleton Standard Speaker after serving as the leader of The News-Item’s newsroom for the past 15 years. His leadership and direction will be missed.

• Cheers to all of the teams participating in this year’s area stock market competition. Financial literacy is extremely important to learn while young and those competing in the contest will gain knowledge they can use throughout their life. Shamokin Area hosted a financial reality fair last week to help teach life lessons to students, which included participants receiving a budget and then having to navigate certain expenses that arose based on a spinning wheel.

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