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

Cheers to a long-awaited family reunion. Tinamarie Bartholomew (born Roswitha Zimmerman in Germany), of Marion Heights, never gave up hope that she would find the one remaining sibling she had never met. Her 33-year journey came to a joyous end when she finally met her big brother, William Stawowczyk (born Paul Zimmerman in Germany), who lives in Iowa. The siblings were both adopted and brought to America at a young age. Through modern DNA testing, the unwavering support of family and her own dogged persistence, Bartholomew was able to put the final piece of her life’s family puzzle together. It must be an especially Merry Christmas for her and her loved ones this year.

Cheers to the City of Shamokin and Coal Township Police Department’s 12th annual joint Christmas party. Through donations from businesses and the hard work of both departments, in particular, event organizers Coal Township Cpl. Terry Ketchem and Shamokin Cpl. Jarrod Scandle, Christmas was made happier and brighter than it may have been for 50 area children. The youngsters met with Santa and Mrs. Claus and received a multitude of gifts. Events such as this provide the children of our area with positive interactions with the local police that could possibly be beneficial to interactions with them in the future. And cheers for the large local support for the party from the Independence Fire Co., all the sponsors that helped make it happen and the night shift workers at the Walmart SuperCenter in Coal Township for helping the officers with their late-night shopping.

Jeers to yet another drug bust in the City of Shamokin. It is an all too often occurrence at this point, and made more alarming when it happened in broad daylight at our local Weis store parking lot. This will undoubtedly not be the last one and incidents such as this put the public, EMS personnel and local law enforcement at needless risk. Cheer within a jeer for the Shamokin Police Department and Northumberland County Adult Probation for responding to the incident.

Cheers to Shamokin being chosen for not one, but two, medical marijuana dispensaries, Harvest of North Central PA LLC, of 520 N. Shamokin St., and PharmaCann Penn LLC, of 235 W. Spruce St. Medical marijuana can provide pain relief to so many and the benefits of which are finally become somewhat mainstream. Keep in mind that this is a medical dispensary and no just anyone can walk in and get marijuana for recreational use. Two empty storefronts will now be filled and local folks who need marijuana for their treatment will now have a lot less further to travel.

Cheers to Our Lady of Lourdes senior basketball starter Thomas Shultz on his breaking the school’s individual scoring record during the Red Raiders’ home game versus Sullivan County. The breaking of the record, previously held by Lourdes alumni and longtime Mount Carmel Area varsity boys basketball coach John Lazicki, was made even sweeter because it happened at Lourdes Regional’s Lee. E Korbich Memorial Gymnasium. By his coaches’ accounts, Shultz is “even-keeled” and a joy to coach.

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