The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 2, 2012

Cheers and jeers

Daily Item

---- — Cheers: To Brutus, the heroic Pug, who fearlessly stepped between his girl, 12-year-old Lauren Ferree, and a venomous copperhead snake. Brutus took a strike to the face, prompting a visit to the veterinarian for treatment. It is a little uncertain what lasting damage he will suffer; he is a Pug after all. What is certain is that little dog is a hero worthy of his classical name.

Cheers: To the Valley Republicans who quickly and unequivocally denounced a bizarre blog post by Mark and Irene Harris, two Snyder County delegates to the Republican National Convention, who wrote that they were offended to discover a "Mexican" working in the American pavilion at Epcot. Both Snyder County Republican county Commissioners Malcolm Derk and Joe Kantz spoke out against the comments, as did Congressman Lou Barletta, who led the fight against illegal immigration in his hometown of Hazleton. Barletta said he has no problem with Hispanics working in the American pavilion, as long as they are legal residents of this country.

Jeers: To Virgil Carson, a Milton resident, who admitted in court that he had sexually assaulted a convenience store clerk, then while leaving the courtroom turned and made an obscene gesture at the victim. Prosecutors say they will add a contempt of court charge to the case, as a result of the episode. Carson has a lengthy criminal record in Arizona, including aggravated assault-disfigurement, robbery and receiving stolen property. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2010 soon after being released from supervision in that state. He now faces 10-20 years in one of the commonwealth's prisons, along with another six months for his despicable conduct in court.

Cheers: To the more than 60 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard from the Valley who will soon deploy to begin training in preparation for a 9-10 month deployment in Kuwait. The majority of the military personnel are from the 3rd Battalion of the 103rd Armor National Guard. The experience for many of these citizen soldiers is becoming all too familiar. Almost half of the Guard troops being deployed have been called upon to serve overseas previously with stints in Afghanistan and Iraq to their credit. The local Guard members will be part of a group of approximately 1,500 Pennsylvania soldiers to deploy.