Thorns to the know-it-alls who were spreading rumor, hyperbole, exaggeration – call it what you want including sheer b.s. – Thursday afternoon over the Facebook threat made to a SHS student. As we reported Friday, there was no direct threat involving Salem High School. It was not put on lockdown. Heightened security, yes, but not lockdown. Huge difference. It was school business as usual. But the Chicken Littles out there of which there are many started a peckin’ away on whatever phone or computer they could grab first, spreading non-truths faster than one of those California wildfires. This included adults. You were a distraction. Let those in the know do their jobs. Trust them to get accurate info to you. You only make it worse by inciting unfounded widespread fear, tying up administrators and bugging cops. This is a splendid example of the downside of having so much tech at one’s fingertips. Often involving people with too much time on their hands and not enough common sense in their heads.

Thorns to anyone grousing about the construction-related delays going on around town. Can’t have it both ways. We will swap temporary traffic flow hang-ups anytime for road improvements. Besides, the time spent in construction lines isn’t any longer than the huge blocks of time spent at a red light waiting to cross State Street. You know how out of curiosity or sheer boredom, sometimes you might count cars of a passing train while at a railroad stop? We like to count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc.” while growing roots at some of the insufferable traffic signals – think perpetual redness – in town. It’s really exasperating when it’s late at night and not another car in sight coming through an intersection. While you sit there and wait and count up to like 50 Mississippi. There’s got to be a more efficient way.

Roses to the Browns. We think. Bringing Johnny Manziel to a passionate but victories- starved fan base is a good move. Especially coming with the team’s second and not first pick. It’s a public relations broad stroke – pure prime time stuff. Within a half hour of his selection, the team had sold 200 new season tickets and had 300 renewed. A team spokesman said the phone was ringing off the hook. Manziel jerseys are already now available. We will see how it translates on the field. Even if you don’t like the kid, you will not be able to avoid seeing how this all plays out. And you’ve got to like Brian Hoyer. “Bring it on,” was his reaction. Some words of caution to Browns fans afflicted with Johnny Fever. He was a 22nd pick as was both Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden. We all know how that turned out. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a karma thing. The Browns took a big swing. Time will tell whether they whiffed. Let’s not even think about the Josh Gordon mess.

Thorns to some of the drivers of the cars at the Salem Post Office. It’s not all the employees who drive to work and park their car too close to the mail receptacles in the alley. But there are a couple who pull up just a little too far and face the probability that someday, someone will accidentally hit them and maybe even drive off and not report it. And while we are on the subject of parking, what about those selfish idiots who continue take two spaces in a parking lot? If your car is so precious leave it parked in your garage and stop being so inconsiderate.

Roses to Salem fifth grader Kyla Jamison. She won the 10-11 age division April 12 in the Elks National Hoops Shoot Free Throw contest. This was a big deal. Being the best of anyone in the country who tried what you did is really something else. She made more than shots any female in any age group. Kyla made 24 of 25 free throws. That translates to, let’s see, 96 percent. A different dynamic for sure but for a fun comparison consider these lifetime free throw percentages of some of basketball biggest names: Larry Bird, 88 percent; Kobe Bryant, 84 percent; Michael Jordan, 84 percent; and what’s his name in Miami, 74 percent.


Roses for letter carriers across the nation collecting food for needy families. The National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will be conducted this Saturday. Each year, on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect nonperishable food donations from residents that go directly to local food pantries. Last year, the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive collected more than 74.4 million pounds of food nationwide the second-highest amount since the drive began in 1992 feeding an estimated 30 million people. That means a lot of bellies getting full. To participate, leave a nonperishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on May 10. It will be picked up by your letter carrier. And – this is where any thorns would come in – don’t be an idiot and put out expired, spoiled food. Don’t expect someone else to eat something you wouldn’t dare put in your own mouth. It’s a food drive not a garbage collection.

Roses to all the students in Columbiana and Mahoning counties who have appeared on the Spotlight pages in the Sunday Salem News this school year. These pupils have accomplished so much and deserve to have their moment in the sun. Not to mention newsprint. These students have excelled in all subjects and have won awards and contests. Thanks for patience too in sometimes waiting for your item to appear. We literally get hundreds throughout the course of a school year. Also, roses to the thousands of pupils whose names have been printed in honor rolls on our pages. Many have been recognized for achieving all As, all As and Bs and merit roll status. Keep up the good work kids. You should be proud. As we are of you.

Thorns to the person or persons (punks) involved in the graffiti vandalism incident on an Ohio historical marker sign at the covered bridge on Eagleton Road. This historical marker for the Teegarden Centennial Covered Bridge has been defaced. You read our story in Friday’s edition or online. A Salem Township official has reported that someone spray-painted an anarchist symbol on the marker sign. What a shame. Why? For what purpose? According to Merriam-Webster Online, an anarchist is a person who believes that government and laws are not necessary. The full definition of anarchist continues: a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power and: a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially: one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order. This matter is currently under investigation. Anyone with any information on this crime is asked to contact Constable Dan Valentine or the Salem Township Police Department at 330-427-0808.

Roses for those volunteering to clean the Greenway Trail last week. Those of us regularly using it appreciate it. Thorns to those who litter along the trail. It’s especially baffling to think that at least some of the very people who take advantage of a wondrous pathway into nature apparently are some of the same people spoiling it with litter.

Roses for the blooming trees within Memorial and Centennial parks and along roadways such as State Street. They offer absolute gorgeous glimpses of spring. When it’s not raining, that is.

Thorns to the Cleveland Indians. Four weeks into the season and they are already tanking. Worst fielding team in all of baseball. Second worst record in the American League (thank you Houston Astros). The team made no effort to significantly upgrade itself over the winter. The results will show this year after sneaking into the playoffs last year with a smoke-and-mirror September run. Can’t realistically expect that to happen again. The Indians are 30th, as in last, in attendance in all of baseball and it won’t get any better. When the buzz topic in May among Cleveland sports fans concerns the Browns and the upcoming NFL draft, that poorly reflects – again – on the state of major league baseball in that town.