Cheers of thanks for the service of former president George H.W. Bush, who was laid to rest this week. The 94-year-old World War II hero was remembered as not only a leader of our country, but as a family man who loved unconditionally. Bush led our country during the end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and through a coalition victory over Iraq in Kuwait. Before that, he served as a congressman, U.N. ambassador, CIA director and two-term vice president. He was recalled countless times this week as a humanitarian. While his service to and for our country should not be forgotten, it is his tales have familial devotion that have most touched our hearts.

Cheers to the start of a project that will result in additional safety for the many visitors to the Ohiopyle area. The Intermodal Gateway project consists of several planned realignments that state Department of Transportation officials hope will reduce traffic issues between vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and boat renters who use Route 381. The project will also improve parking, sidewalks and crosswalks in the borough and the area of the state park. PennDOT officials said traffic disruptions will be minimal during the project, which will be stopped from Memorial Day through Labor Day to accommodate the area’s busy tourist season. The $12.4 million project has an expected completion date of Memorial Day 2020.

Cheers to Bob Topper Sr. for giving the community more than four decades of service as a fireman. Topper, the first chief of New Haven Hose Co. in Connellsville, is stepping down from the post early next year. He led the city through a challenging transition from its paid department to an all-volunteer department while maintaining the city’s insurance rating. Topper, who plans to remain a volunteer fireman, said he looked forward to spending more time with his family. We hope that he gets to relax and thank him for his dedication and hard work in service to Connellsville and all of Fayette County.

Jeers to Jimmie B. Coulter, a former Donora councilman who got in hot water with the state Ethics Commission when he used borough employees and equipment for the benefit of his private business. Coulter also sought two loans totaling $5,600 from a subordinate borough employee. That employee told the commission that while he felt bad for Coulter’s financial struggles, he also felt pressured to loan him the money. It’s not a close call to recognize that Coulter’s actions were wrong. We trust that those elected to public office won’t take advantage of their position, and he clearly did so. Hopefully his actions will serve as a lesson to other elected officials and remind them that they are in office to serve, not gain an advantage from their positions.

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