CHEERS: to the staff at Medina County Job and Family Services, which is working to meet increasing needs for food stamps and other benefits in the face of staff and budget cuts that make providing services more difficult. The agency continues to reach out and help where it is needed, recently announcing it will offer two free tax preparation clinics for those who qualify.
CHIDINGS: to General Motors Corp. and major banks for increasing the amount they spend to lobby the government, even as they were taking in billions from the federal financial rescue program. A member of a watchdog group said â€œthereâ€™s a smellâ€ to companies receiving taxpayer support at the same time they are pressing the government for more money and less oversight.
CHEERS: to Highland High School for becoming the first school in Ohio to host the Robofest robotics competition, a national program to help children in grades five through 12 learn science, technology, engineering and math through the construction of robots. Highland will host the fifth- to eighth-grade division, open to teams from area schools, on March 7. Winners will be invited to a world championship competition in May.
CHIDINGS: to pollution from Indian pharmaceutical factories that turn waterways into virtual medicine cabinets flowing with chemicals, which are then unwittingly consumed by Indiaâ€™s poor through fish and drinking water. According to researchers, half the drugs they found â€” used to treat everything from heart disease to depression â€” measured at the highest levels of pharmaceuticals ever detected in the environment.
CHEERS: to Medina Townshipâ€™s Helen Stephenson, who will celebrate her 100th birthday in April, and continues to share her knowledge of Ohio people and history. She recently gave a presentation on Longaberger Basket Company founder David Longaberger at Western Reserve Masonic Community. Another of Stephensonâ€™s previous talks featured two of her former second-grade students â€” astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn and his wife, Annie.