Cheers to Shamokin Police Department Cpl. Jarod Scandle and Patrolman Scott Weaver, and Kulpmont police Chief Nathan Foust and Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Michael Pitcavage, for putting out residential fires in both Shamokin and Kulpmont, respectively. The first fire, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, was located at 938 Chestnut St., Kulpmont. The second fire, 12 hours later, at 2:39 a.m. Thursday, was located at 115 Birch St., Shamokin. In both cases, quick action by first responders not only prevented the flames from spreading, but led to the safe evacuation of the residents of both properties. Perhaps it was just a matter of the officers doing what they were trained to do, but in both cases, these men were heroes.

Cheers to the Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University for featuring “Border Cantos Sonic Border,” by Guillermo Galindo, a Mexican-American artist and composer. The exhibit combines Galindo’s creations, crafted from artifacts left behind by migrants at the border between the United States and Mexico. The reason for the exhibit is give people the experience of the border and to get acquainted with the immigrants’ journey. Combining music with the art, he also states that what he is displaying is art, not politics.

A major cheer (for some, perhaps) to the fact that the snow that was predicted for Saturday into Sunday did not come to pass; a whimper, rather than a bang. Instead, the snow stayed light, only about half an inch fell by 8:30 Saturday. According to, by Sunday afternoon, the final snow accumulation was only 2 inches. Williamsport, 50 miles to the north, received 6 inches. According to Accuweather, today’s temps are only expected to reach a high of 15 degrees. Keep in mind, too, that winter still has another two months to do its work.

Jeers to Rep. Tom Marino, the five-term Republican 12th Legislative District congressman who will resign as of Wednesday, Jan. 23 — only two months into his new term. The official statement by Marino is that he will be taking a job in the private sector, and did not respond to question about the announcement Thursday. Such an abrupt resignation only gives rise to “conspiracy theories,” something we don’t need more of. As an incumbent politician who has served his constituents for five terms, and obviously did a good enough job that he kept getting re-elected, Marino owes more to his district than a vague excuse tacked on to a quick exit.

Cheers to Coal Township native Terrill “Terri” Sanchez who in May was named executive director of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System — one of the nation’s oldest retirement plans for public employees, with more than 239,000 members and $29 billion in assets. Sanchez, who oversees 200 employees and handles and annual operating budget of $30 million, is believed to be the first female executive director in the agency’s 96-year history. A daughter of Ed and Phyllis Lippay, of Holly Street, has come a long way from when she began her career with state government nearly 35 years ago. Sanchez credits her success to “hard work, courage and character,” along with the influence of mentors and her small-town upbringing.

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