Roses for area resident Brenda Hamilton. Herself deeply impacted by past addictions in her family, she is a crusader in the battle against drugs. She serves as our county’s coordinator and president of OhioCAN Change Addiction Now, the non-profit group that gives families a voice. And the voice gets louder with each and every affected local resident speaking out. An opportunity to do just that will come today from 6-9 p.m. at Memorial Park. The Fourth Annual Lights of Change will be held. Coinciding with Columbiana County Overdose Awareness Day, it is organized by OhioCAN Change Addiction Now. There will be testimonies regarding ravages of drug abuse and heartening words from recovering addicts. There will also be speakers who know very well the devastation drugs have had on our community: Columbiana County Drug Task Force Director Lt. Brian McLaughlin of the Sheriff’s Office and Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott. It is undeniable that drugs have impacted each and everyone of us to some degree: directly by being an addict yourself or having a family member or friend who is; and/or, indirectly by having so much of our taxpayer money and the attention of our police and safety forces diverted to fighting the war. Determined soldiers like Brenda Hamilton trudge onward.

Thorns for all the parents — often loudmouths in the stands and bleachers — who think they can coach better than their kid’s (fill in the sport) coach and for all the parents who think they know more about the (fill in the sport) rule book than officials and referees actually trained to know the rules. It happens with every single sport out there and likely is already occurring this young school year. Let the kids play, the coaches coach and the refs blow their whistles.

Roses for all the coaches dutifully calling in their game results to our sport staff. We have a very capable sports crew but nobody — or no newspaper — can be everywhere all the time. We rely on game results, highlights and stats to be called in. That way the kids get recognition they deserve and those unable to attend events can follow them in our sports pages. Extra roses for coaches who call regardless of winning or losing. We get the part that the last thing a coach wants to do is call a newspaper after a bad loss. But it comes with the job and the kids deserve the coverage and their parents expect it.