ORCHIDS: To the Mathews and Brookfield school districts for approving a shared transportation agreement. Mathews will pay Brookfield to transport two Mathews students to parochial schools outside of either district. There is no need for both districts to send nearly empty buses to the same parochial school. All districts in Trumbull County should create a master transportation matrix that avoids overlapping service and underused vehicles
ONION: To Niles Councilman Stephen Papalas for suggesting that the city might need to raise its income tax. He is among the Niles leaders who have managed city finances well. As a result, Niles residents have enjoyed the status quo in terms of service despite a poor economy. Niles leaders are now uncertain if they can balance the 2014 budget without making significant changes. Raising taxes is the easy way out and takes more from people making do with less. Papalas and his colleagues should step up and find solutions that might take more effort.
ORCHID: To the Trumbull County Medical Society Alliance as it celebrates 70 years. It's composed of a group of spouses of people in the medical profession. As part of the observance, the alliance society presented the program "No Bullies, No Victims" to 12 to 15 schools, in addition to programs provided on drug abuse, anti-violence in dating and elderly abuse.
ORCHID: For a free program that will help young adults earn their GEDs. It's being presented by the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association and is called Bestway, an eight-week program available to people ages 17 to 21. Classes begin in February and participants also will have the opportunity to receive up to $500 upon successful completion of the program.
ORCHID: To the Youngstown Police Department's Internal Affairs Division for quickly finding that officer Brad Ditullio followed the department's use of deadly force guidelines correctly when he fired several shots at a car he tried to pull over for expired plates Monday. The driver was trying to run over the officer and was shot in the stomach and hospitalized. And an ONION goes to the driver, Jesse Cooper, of West Ravenwood Avenue in Youngstown, who was to be arraigned after being discharged from the hospital.