Diamonds to teacher Kevin Sickle. Recognized this week as Wilkes University’s “Educator of the Year,” the fifth-grade instructor of math, science and social studies at Heights-Murray Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre serves as a reminder of the hundreds of well-intentioned, hardworking teachers who work wonders in area classrooms. These topflight teachers far outnumber the duds we learn about because of their misconduct. The good ones deserve more time in the limelight.
Coal to arsonist Michael Alan Killian. The 26-year-old, who previously admitted to torching a Kingston apartment building he shared with about a dozen other tenants, was sentenced this week to 15 to 30 months in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. His crime easily could have resulted in the loss of life. Let’s hope Killian gets the help he so badly needs for an admitted drug-abuse problem.
Diamonds to voters in Tuesday’s election, especially those who stood in lines at certain area polling places for an hour or more. Inconvenient? Yes. But no one ever said democracy is supposed to be easy. In coming weeks, Luzerne County election officials will examine the turnout experienced locally during recent presidential elections to determine if changes are practical at polling sites prone to lengthy backups, said Bureau of Elections Director Marisa Crispell. “If a polling place is seriously congested or has other issues, I’ll look at other options,” she said. “I’m also open to suggestions from citizens who know these areas.”
Coal to the numbskulls – apparently emboldened by Donald Trump’s election victory – who this week perpetrated racist acts and hate crimes. News reports indicated a few Pennsylvania schools were among the places where some youths’ post-election euphoria took the ugly form of name-calling toward blacks and gays. Lumps of coal also are bestowed this week to anyone who took those not-my-president protests too far, blocking traffic or breaking store windows. There is a high road in life; more of us should strive to stay on it.
Diamonds to Mohegan Sun Pocono officials. They pledged to continue paying Plains Township a “local share tax” based on the casino’s slots revenue, despite a recent state court ruling that declared the tax unconstitutional. Casino President Anthony Carlucci this week told the township’s commissioners he would not turn off the flow of money, which reportedly amounts to about $2.5 million each year, until the matter gets resolved. Lawmakers in Harrisburg were granted 120 days to find a solution, but so far have failed to do so.
Coal to questionable polling. Nine out of 10 people who stayed awake until the early hours of Wednesday morning and discovered Donald Trump had won the presidency – seemingly defying all data – were left wondering how the predictions could be so wrong. Or maybe it was two out of 10. Who’s really counting?