The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Rave

August 20, 2012

Cheers and jeers

Cheers: To Jim Hoegh, of Sunbury, who is heading to Utah to compete in the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials in the Bonneville salt flats just west of Salt Lake City. Hoegh will be riding a Confederate Hellcat motorcycle, seeking to best his personal record of 162.6 mph and may set the class record of 169 mph on the five-mile course.

Jeers: To the state lawmakers who passed a thinly veiled voucher program that provides government-sponsored scholarships for students to "escape" failing schools. Because the scholarships provide less than the cost of educating students in public schools, no local school district will accept students under the program. A survey of private of schools found that the region's Catholic schools and Hillside Christian Academy near Mifflinburg plan to accept students through the program. Low-income Midd-West High School students and Grace Beck and Chief Shikellamy elementary students in the Shikellamy School District are eligible for the scholarships.

Cheers: To Northumberland Borough Councilman Greg Carl, who stuck with his vision of establishing Liberty Splashland as a destination rather than just another community pool. The effort to move and install the 45-foot high tube slide proved to be a struggle, but for the youngsters who lined up to give the slide a whirl, it seemed worth it.

Cheers: To Sam Allen, 15, of Lewisburg, and the aptly named 13-year-old River Mertz, of Montandon, who won the state championships in their age divisions in the Pennsylvania Bass Federation junior championships held on Lake Augusta over the weekend. As state winners, they both qualified to compete in next year's world championship on the Red River in Shreveport, La. It was the first time since 2009 that Valley anglers won both age divisions. Allen and Mertz hooked their prize-winning catches in the area north of the Barry King Memorial Bridge leading into Northumberland.

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