Church, school deserve kudos for their help
BOUQUETS >> To Friendship Baptist Church, 2160 Reeves Ave. in Lorain, for adopting Washington Elementary School so it can help families who have arrived in the city from hurricane-battered Puerto Rico.
Principal Marie I. Contreras-Deshuk said since November, the school, 1025 W. 23rd St., has added 48 children displaced from Puerto Rico.
Washington Elementary is trying to help the students’ families with other needs, including clothing.
Georgia P. Smith, coordinator for the donations at Friendship Baptist, who recently attended a meeting with Senior Pastor John R. Jackson at the school, said she wants to spread the word about the families who have become some of Lorain’s newest residents.
Contreras-Deshuk said, “We totally appreciate that we have a church whose members are willing and care about our children as much as we do.”
Puerto Rico still is recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
This is a very nice gesture by Friendship Baptist to help with the new students and their families.
BOUQUETS » To State Sen. Gayle Manning, who was honored as Legislator of the Year on Feb. 8 by the Ohio Alliance of Recovery Providers for her dedicated service and commitment to connecting people struggling with addiction and other behavioral health issues with needed resources.
Manning said, “I am honored and humbled to receive this award today, and am grateful for the hard work of many coalitions and stakeholders who I have collaborated with on these issues. It takes more than just one person to tackle the challenges Ohio faces, and I am fortunate to work alongside people in our community who are full of passion and caring.”
Tom Stuber, president and CEO of The LCADA Way, who also serves president of the OARP board, presented the award to Manning.
Stuber said, “OARP, as representatives of the field of recovery, greatly appreciate Sen. Manning’s efforts to assist in improving access, increasing funding and equipping us with the tools necessary to begin to meaningfully impact the opiate epidemic.”
We congratulate Manning on her award and for her role in connecting people struggling with addiction to resources to help them.
BRICKBATS » To Charlene M. Jones, the 33-year-old Elyria woman facing charges she burglarized the homes of two women with physical disabilities. Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said Jones was charged with two counts of burglary and possession of drug abuse instruments after she was identified as the suspect in the burglaries.
The burglaries occurred Jan. 31 on Delaware Avenue and Feb. 4 on Mockingbird Lane.
Costantino said an Elyria officer believed Jones was a suspect based on the description by the victims.
On Jan. 31, Costantino said Jones posed as a home health aide and entered the residence of a 90-year-old who relies on a cane for walking.
He said the victim told police Jones took $40 she claimed was for shower repairs and stole an additional $30 from the woman’s purse.
On Feb. 4, Costantino said Jones forced her way into the home of a 62-year-old with disabilities and stole $20 from her purse.
Jones is innocent until proven guilty.
But anyone caught preying on the most vulnerable should be convicted to the fullest extent of the law, Jones included if she’s found guilty.
BRICKBATS » To Estaban J. Gutierrez, the 24-year-old Elyria man who avoided incarceration, but will serve three years of community control for his role in a robbery and a burglary.
Gutierrez pleaded guilty Dec. 22 to the aggravated burglary and robbery.
Lorain County Common Pleas Judge D. Chris Cook sentenced Gutierrez on Feb. 7.
On March 20, the three victims, a 19-year-old Avon Lake man, a 19-year-old Lorain woman and a 19-year-old Lorain man, met with officers stating they were robbed by three suspects.
The Avon Lake man was attempting to sell shoes to one of the suspects from his vehicle when the men robbed him.
Gutierrez prevented the woman from calling for help when he took her cell phone from her.
He is fortunate no one was physically injured or he could have faced more severe punishment.
However, Gutierrez does have to pay at least $720 in fees to the courts and $615 in restitution to the victims.
Hopefully, getting in his pocketbook will deter Gutierrez from committing any more crimes.
He also needs to pick better friends.