The News-Item’s cheers and jeers for the past week of news:
• Cheers to the upcoming opening of Shamokin’s newest business — the medical marijuana dispensary at the intersection of Independence and Shamokin streets. Pennsylvania has now approved 79 dispensaries across the state that are either operating or being built, and more than 1,000 doctors have signed up for the program to prescribe the drug to those in need. Judging by a few Sound Off calls, some in the community believe the opening of the dispensary could attract drug users and increase drug use in the area. Making that argument is akin to blaming pharmacies for the proliferation of the opioid crisis. Medical marijuana patients must be prescribed marijuana from a licensed doctor before being able to pick up the medicine at an approved dispensary.
• Cheers to Pool World Inc., Dan Shingara Enterprises Inc., Bednar Concrete, Kreco Electric, Landscaping Services and Bob’s Water Service for providing disabled veteran David Noblit, of Elysburg, a free in-ground pool in thanks for his service in Afghanistan. Noblit lost both of his legs during an IED attack in 2010. He had been in the market for a pool when he stopped by Pool World while pricing his options and met business owner Gino Yablonski. Noblit explained to Yablonski why he was in a wheelchair after Yablonski showed interest in what had happened. After Noblit left the store, Yablonski began organizing a fundraising effort that involved the aforementioned businesses and was able to install Noblit’s pool at no cost on Thursday.
• Cheers to those involved with organizing the host of annual Memorial Day services that were held throughout the community. While a four-day work week and backyard grilling are always welcome, never lose sight of the meaning behind the day — remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for all Americans. On Thursday, the 75th anniversary of D-Day will be remembered across the nation.
• Cheers to the organizers of the Mount Carmel Celebration of Special Athletes, which marked its 25th year of providing activities, love and support on Saturday at the Silver Bowl. Awareness about the need for such events is growing across the nation, and Saturday’s example brought with it numerous smiles and laughs. We’re confident the event will continue for many years to come and continue to grow.