ORCHID: To students at Niles Middle School who, under the supervision of Assistant Principal Sam Reigle and teacher Brian McConnell (both Niles graduates), spent several hours braving the heat recently spreading mulch to keep the outside appearance of the middle school looking great. Also, an orchid goes to the parents who arranged transportation for the students.
ONION: The texting ban for drivers in Ohio took effect Friday. Did anyone notice? Any motorist driving around on Friday would have seen no change. Maybe that's because police will only issue warnings for the next six months.
ORCHID: To Shepherd of the Valley as it celebrates 40 years. Shepherd of the Valley is marking its 40th anniversary this year with celebrations at locations in Niles, Boardman, Poland and Howland. Shepherd of the Valley began in 1972 when area Lutheran churches committed to providing housing for the area's elderly. The Lutheran Women's League provided the first gift of $10,000 toward the senior living facilities.
ORCHID: For the 15th annual United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Day of Caring, sponsored by Covelli Enterprises, which will will take place Sept. 7. The event is a community-wide day of hands-on volunteering. Employees of area companies participate by completing tasks, odd jobs and organizing activities for local nonprofit organizations.
ONION: The Emerald Diner on North Main Street in Hubbard caught fire earlier this week. It was a landmark in the area and was heavily damaged.
ORCHID: To a Bristolville scout who completed his Eagle Scout project by building a playground for Hannah's House in Vienna. His name is Stephen Sprague Jr., 17, with Troop 75 in Bristolville for the past five years. Hannah's House is part of the Warren Family Mission and helps women with challenging issues. Their children often visit them and now have a play area.
ORCHID: To the Warren YMCA as it has seen about $50,000 worth of improvements at the facility. The project included replacing many windows and refinishing the gym floor. A grant from the Youngstown Foundation was used for refinishing the gym floor.