Roses to the members of Mile Branch Grange for sponsoring the 55th Mile Branch Grange Community Fair on July 21, 22 and 23 at 495 Knox School Road, west of Salem. Their continuing commitment to bring quality, wholesome family entertainment is evident year after year. For the past 20 years, we have seen the faces of many of the same longtime members working tirelessly in an effort to provide a memorable experience at the fair for children and adults alike. From the popular baby contest, to the hog wrestling, corn hole tournament, tractor pulls, food and musical entertainment, there's something for everyone at this year's grange fair. And did you notice? None of the entertainment involves any high-tech, high priced gizmos to keep the kids happy. That is what makes the fairs around here a part of the timeless down home Americana we all love.
Roses to the Salem Perry Township Crime Watch for organizing the activities at the Fourth of July celebration on July 3 at Waterworth Memorial Park. Area residents enjoyed a corn hole tournament, bounce house, dunk tank, pony rides, petting zoo, concessions, musical entertainment and face painting prior to the fireworks display. Also present were representatives of the Humane Society of Columbiana County who brought animals. Roses also to all the people who donated money so that the fireworks show could be paid for. Mayor Jerry Wolford was gathering donations to cover the $8,000 cost. Also to be recognized is the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring its Fourth of July extravaganza at Firestone Park.
Roses - and who would've ever thought it? - for the Indians who will be in first place or very close to it at the All-Star break. Roses to slugger Travis Hafner who hasn't been on the disabled list for, gee, at least two long weeks now. Rose too for the Pittsburgh Pirates will be near first place at the All-Star break after a succession of sub-.500 years. The Pirates do not have the physical fan base presence in the Salem area as they did back in the Clemente, Mazeroski, Stargell days. But it is wonderful to see what they are doing just 60 miles away. How cool would it ever be to see a Cleveland-Pittsburgh World Series?
Thorns to ongoing and at times escalating crime in our area. Let's see in recent days we have had a kidnapping, shooting, multiple car break-ins and a creep trying to pick up young girls in broad daylight on the busiest streets in Salem. Not to mention the drug situation. It seems that you could actually stand anywhere in the city and score heroin - with the right connection - within an hour's time. If that. And you can't blame the cops. They do a fine job in Salem, Leetonia and everywhere else including the Sheriff's Department. They can't be everywhere at all times. Citizens just have to be more vigilant in reporting suspicious activities and looking over their collective shoulders. Citizens just have to get used to it because that is the world we live in whether it's Salem, Ohio or some big city.