Cheers: To the firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, police officers and other emergency personnel who provided extraordinary efforts to help more than 40 people injured in the Greyhound bus accident early Wednesday morning along Interstate 80 in Union County. In the middle of the night, these emergency personnel rushed to a dark and isolated stretch of the interstate highway and immediately implemented life-saving strategies and procedures to free victims from tangled wreckage, assess the injuries and get them aboard transport to an appropriate hospital. Meanwhile, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police remained at the scene for an additional 12 hours, gathering evidence and piecing together information to help determine the cause of this fatal crash.
Jeers: To Northumberland County Commissioner Rick Shoch for making unsubstantiated public allegations against Northumberland County President Judge Robert B. Sacavage at a time when the judge was out of the state and unable to immediately respond. This forced the judge to call a press conference upon his return nearly a week later to publicly deny Shoch’s charge that the judge had helped a former adult probation chief obtain unemployment compensation benefits. “As an attorney and commissioner, you would think Mr. Shoch would have done his homework and made sure he had the proper evidence to back up these claims,” Sacavage said. It is reasonable for all parties to expect precision and verification at this level of professionalism and public leadership.
Cheers: To Union-Snyder President Judge Michael Sholley, county District Attorney Michael Piecuch and other Snyder County Court officials for establishing a program that gives first-time juvenile offenders a second chance, an effort that has earned an award from the Juvenile Court Judges Commission. Launched in September 2010, the Youth Accountability Program allows non-violent offenders between the ages of 12 and 21 an opportunity to avoid going through the traditional juvenile court system. Instead of being brought before a judge, juvenile offenders who admit guilt are assigned to work with a three-member panel of community volunteers supervised by a probation officer A key component of the program is the team of 12 community members who have been trained to work with the youth and help them understand the seriousness of their actions and the impact on victims and the community.
Cheers: To Winfield area sisters Andrea and Emily Cole for organizing a run to raise money to support more than 250 school students in the African country of Zambia. The money will be used to help families purchase a school uniform needed to enroll their children in school. Many families are unable to afford the $20 cost. They invite others to donate to the Honduran Soles “20-for20” run, by contacting HonduranSoles320@gmail.com or sending donations to Honduran Soles, 560 State Route 304, Winfield, PA 17889.