Church, school de­serve ku­dos for their help

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - OPINION -

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.

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