CHEERS … to nonprofit wireless internet provider DigitalC, which plans to double its capacity to provide high-speed internet access to low-income areas of Cleveland by the end of this year. Peter Krouse reports that DigitalC already serves about 1,000 homes in Cleveland neighborhoods such as Buckeye-Woodhill, Central, Clark-Fulton, Fairfax, Glenville and Hough, but has the capacity to serve about three times as many homes. By adding new technology and expanding ways it links to fiber in the ground, DigitalC believes it can enhance its capacity, giving it the ability to reach about 6,000 homes by year’s end. That would be a twofold capacity leap this year. We applaud.
CHEERS … to outgoing Columbus-area U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers for shepherding through the U.S. House this week his bill to create a Veterans Affairs pilot project to allow veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to train service dogs. The PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act, H.R. 1448, was voted out of the House Wednesday; Stivers’ last day in Congress is Sunday. The bill would require the VA to set up a five-year pilot to test whether training service dogs for veterans with disabilities would help veterans mitigate post-deployment mental health issues and PTSD. “The dogs are trained to do things like block a veteran to give them space in a crowd, or to wake them up if they’re having a nightmare,’ cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton reports.
CHEERS … to Cuyahoga County officials, judges and others for the teamwork, investment and planning behind the county’s long-awaited diversion center, which opened last week. It immediately makes it easier to ensure that nonviolent offenders with addiction and mental health problems get the urgent treatment they need instead of being sent to jail, where they could be at risk of suicide or overdose. Cuyahoga County Council approved the two-year, $9.2 million program last December. As Peter Krouse reports, “The diversion center is one of several reforms to the justice system, including bail reform, that have occurred since cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer launched its “Justice for All” series several years ago.”
CHEERS … to two Cleveland judges — Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams and Emanuella Groves of the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals — for helping to form the Ohio Black Judges Association earlier this year to support and mentor Black students seeking to become judges and attorneys. A report by Spectrum News 1 (Ohio)′s Karlynn Wells notes there are only 56 African American judges in Ohio, out of more than 700.
CHEERS … to former Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, among seven to be honored May 26 with special Profiles in Courage awards from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, for the risks they took to protect others during the coronavirus pandemic. Acton was singled out for ahead-of-the-curve public health measures to curb the virus’s spread in Ohio despite the personal attacks against her. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock reports that other “COVID Courage” honorees include Burnell Cotlon, “a Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans grocery store owner who let his customers put food on credit when the economy shut down;” Fred Freeman, “a Hanover, Massachusetts, fire department captain and registered nurse, who created a mobile health program to deliver COVID-19 testing and other services to residents at home; and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who received threats against her life.”
CHEERS … to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine and Ohio Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz for unveiling two new Storybook Trails in Ohio on Monday — in Lorain County, at Findley State Park in Wellington, and in Montgomery County, at Sycamore State Park in Dayton. The trails, lined with pages of a book, are designed to encourage healthful outdoor exploration and a joy of reading. “There are currently eight half-mile Storybook Trails located at state parks throughout Ohio, each with 15-20 child-height panels featuring pages of a children’s book and an activity to accompany the text on the page,” the governor’s office reports. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources partnered with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide story content for the trails.
About our editorials: Editorials, including Cheers & More Cheers, express the view of the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer — the senior leadership and editorial-writing staff. As is traditional, editorials are unsigned and intended to be seen as the voice of the news organization.
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