Roses from a reader for the recycling changes at the city hall location. Sliding doors means no more hefting loads up and over into the bins. The elderly and not quite so strong appreciate that. And, eliminating sorting makes it easier for everyone.

Roses for quick-thinking bank employees at the Home Savings and Loan down in Glenmoor. Workers got the license number of an Einstein who robbed the bank in, yes, broad daylight Tuesday while getting away in a car that cops were easily able to track down a very short time later because of its clearly displayed license plates. No, we’re not talking a calculating Dillinger here.

Thorns for shots being fired last weekend at two in the morning outside of a popular Salem nightclub. This follows a meth lab being recently uncovered and two Molotov cocktails found near the downtown. Not to mention a meth lab blowing up in nearby Alliance last week. Then there is the guy from Beloit. He was charged Wednesday with a first degree felony for having a meth lab in his home. Oh, a home where his 8-year-old child was when the cops arrived. Yeah, right. Nice parenting skills. We repeatedly mention the break-ins, robberies, beatings and domestics around here. Granted there has always been crime. Only the naive would believe otherwise. However a plague of crime is upon us and the brunt of the locust are drug dependent. It is not the general area, not the Salem we used to know. That is indisputable. You can’t blame it all – some yes, all no -on absentee landlords. Although some kind of rigid guidelines need to be put into place regarding zoning and leasing requirements. Many homes in this area are used as drug distribution houses. That is common knowledge.

Roses for a proactive citizen making an effort to turn a bag containing white powdery substance over to the Salem cops. Given that it was discovered in a house on South Howard Avenue, not all that far from where a meth lab was found last week, makes you want to raise an eyebrow. Could it have been something harmless, like, oh say, a bag of sugar? Sure. But given all going on, it was probably an illegal substance. What a shock that would be.

Roses and a big group hug to members of the Heartland Christian girls basketball team. The Lions lost to Columbiana Monday, 75-6. That’s six points as in one, two, three, four, five, six. Heartland is a young team and it showed. Despite being outmanned (outgirled?) the Lions kept hustling and playing hard until the game’s merciful final seconds. That kind of approach is something more important long-term than anything that showed up on a scoreboard.

Roses to the Salem boys basketball team under head coach Rich Hart. The Quakers had a great regular season, going 16-6 heading into tourney play. Roses to record-breaking senior Ryan Bush. He broke long-standing single game and season scoring records this season. Extra roses for Bush quickly giving credit to his teammates. Being humble and sharing the glory is something more important long-term than anything that showed up on a stat sheet.

Roses and a slice of birthday cake to the father of a certain editor who turned 90 Wednesday past. Having a father in your life for so long is a blessing. Having a father who is also a best friend in your life for so long is a true blessing. Thank you, Pop. You are what being a decent, caring person is all about. It’s an honor to be your son.


Thorns to an apparent meth lab operating or in the process of being assembled to operate within a syringe throw of city hall and the police station. The people involved are either incredibly brazen or incredibly stupid. Probably both. Thorns to not one but two Molotov cocktails being found in the same area along South Broadway Avenue. A prank by punks getting a good yuck over this? Nah, the vibe here is no. Not to get melodramatic but do you think folks living and working along that stretch are having a gas (sorry) over this??Hardly. It’s more than that. Maybe a scare tactic – a sort of calling card threat – intended for someone? Who knows what a third cocktail will do? Thorns to a now resigned Salem police officer being arrested and charged with alleged drunken driving in Canfield. We ran details all week. A real shame could’ve become a real tragedy should an accident have resulted from his decision to get behind the wheel that night. Police officers carry the public’s trust. They are entrusted – not to mention compensated with taxpayer money – to uphold and not break the law. Those of us in the newsroom who have interacted with Gary Poage like him and wish him the best. He will have his day in court. But this was bad, real bad. This also creates an imposition for the scheduling and staffing over at the police department. Thorns to those out there who just don’t get it when it comes to our story decision placement regarding something like the alleged drunk driving arrest of a police officer. Are we truly supposed to bury it or completely disregard it??Get serious.

Roses to new Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott for suspending now former officer Poage without pay prior to his resignation, declaring “if you perform your duties, you get paid. If you don’t perform your duties, you don’t get paid.”?We like and strongly endorse that approach. The chief has had an incredible first two weeks on the job. The police have been very proactive too lately with traffic violations. Just make sure to get some of those semis racing through our downtown.

Thorns to ongoing rashes of vehicle break-ins (speculation has to be to fuel drug habits), good Samaritans getting robbed after offering rides to people and domestic violence.

Thorns to a man gaining access to Salem High on Tuesday morning. He entered the building without authorization or permission and fled when confronted by school personnel. He apparently was a non-threat but he was where he wasn’t supposed to be, lied, and that is a bit unnerving. But short of a thumb print scanner and security at each entrance to a school building, these kinds of incidents will continue to happen. Roses to Salem High personnel in following the guy after he took off and demanding trespassing charges be filed. Roses to Salem Schools for being so proactive in wake of what happened in places like Chardon and Newtown in shoring up security in its buildings. However using Tuesday as an example there is no such thing as being too secure. Roses to Lisbon Schools holding a public forum to discuss its existing safety plans with district residents.

Roses to the start of baseball’s spring training. If you aren’t a fan you wouldn’t understand it. The sound of bat hitting ball and ball smacking into a glove are unlike any other in the entire world. Roses to the Cleveland Indians for spending some off season money. Despite having maybe the worst starting pitching in the entire major leagues, the team should still play .500 ball. Which around here is tantamount to other cities winning the World Series. Cleveland management has fans excited in February. That is rare. Roses to the West Branch girls basketball team. The Warriors finished 20-2 in the regular season and won a share of their first Northeastern Buckeye Conference title since 2005. They are ranked 12th in the state in Div. II heading into tourney play. An encore showdown with powerhouse Canfield looms. Good luck to all area teams as tourney play beckons.