The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news:
• Cheers to the excellent idea of the First Responders Day in Kulpmont and the terrific turnout despite Saturday’s threatening weather. Kulpmont100, as it continues its pursuit of 100 community activities in five years, put on a great show for the region’s law enforcement, emergency responders and related agencies. We should note, too, that Mount Carmel’s Clover Hose on Tuesday will once again have a 9/11 memorial program. The Mount Carmel crew is the epitome locally of those who live up to the promise to “never forget.”
• Jeers to the 14-year-old boy and his juvenile partners in crime who were in an SUV at 3 a.m. Saturday in Shamokin, ran a red light and caused an accident with an ambulance. The four youths were fortunate that they and the two ambulance occupants had only minor injuries, and that the ambulance was neither transporting a patient nor responding to a scene. Still, the driver especially faces some serious punishment for the stunt — and we hope it’s sufficient enough to make a lasting impression.
• Cheers to the uplifting night for local coal region football with Shamokin Area’s dominating win over Central Mountain and Mount Carmel Area’s man-handling of Lewisburg on Friday. It’s early in the season, but both teams are indicating they’ll be some more to celebrate this year, especially for Shamokin, which has already surpassed its win total from 2017.
• Cheers to the Natalie Fire Co.’s efforts to raise funds for local charities that assist women affected by breast cancer. The organization is selling shirts, donation cards and magnets, and accepting monetary donations toward the new effort, “Natalie Fire Co., Fighting for a Cure!” Chief Mike Snyder said the main goals for the fundraiser are to give back to the community and support friends and family who have been impacted by the disease. It’s always impressive when volunteer organizations that already exist to help the community find the time and energy to do even more.
• Cheers to the effort by Brewser’s SportsGrille to pay homage to the thousands of players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans of St. Edward Speedboys and Speedgirls through a special seating section at the local restaurant. “St. Ed’s Corner” also pays tribute to former St. Ed’s basketball coach Joseph “Alphie” McLaughlin. A wooden 57-inch table with a basketball court design made from the old St. Ed’s gym floor is a true piece of local sports history around which tales of glory days can be told for years to come.
• Jeers to the sometimes painfully slow wheels of justice, this time for the case of two brothers from Mount Carmel facing rape charges from May of 2017. One has a status conference next week, while the second underwent a psychiatric evaluation that revealed he was incompetent to stand trial. The district attorney’s office has not yet made a decision on how it will proceed with the latter. Meanwhile, both men remain free on bail, making residents understandably concerned.