Cheers to Caitlin Lawrence of Carmichaels, who is a member of the American Meteorological Society. She attended the organization’s 100th annual conference in Boston, Mass., from January 12 to 16 and, though only her second conference, the society chose her as one of only a few scientists from around the world to present a poster project. Her poster focused on tornadic activity in Dixie Alley, during the springs of 1983-2013. At the conference, she also participated in oral and written interviews on her past, present and future weather endeavors, which were put on a flash drive and buried in a time capsule scheduled to be opened in 2070. Lawrence said she has been a proud member of the AMS and the National Weather Association since 2006, her freshmen year of college. She said she grew up watching the Weather Channel when most kids gravitated toward cartoons. Lawrence graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from California University of Pennsylvania, and since graduating university in May 2010, she has been forecasting weather conditions for La Grande, Oregon from her Carmichaels home. She also leads online discussions about weather conditions and forecasts the possibilities of avalanches, wild fires and ice storms at ski resorts. Currently working for the HBC Service Company in Washington, where she builds pallets used to supply area Giant Eagle stores, Lawrence continues education outreach by going out to local organizations and schools, giving presentations on weather events and storm safety. Still “living out her dream,” she said she storm chases every chance she gets, remains an active member of AMS and NWA. In her free time she continues her atmospheric research studies.

Cheers to the start of political campaign season. Jan. 28 marked the first day to circulate and file nomination petitions for state House and Senate races. While neither of our area senators are up for reelection this year, all of our local state representatives are. Much like businesses use pricing and services to remain competitive, elections offer the opportunity for voters to evaluate what candidate is most worthy of their support. We should want those running for election to compete for our support; they should want nothing more than to tell voters exactly why they’re the right candidate. Anything less is unacceptable.

Cheers to those who are helping to fight against hunger by participating in this year’s The Souper Bowl of Caring, now in its 30th year. The event is held on Super Bowl Sunday annually and is a national effort. Locally, folks can participate by organizing a non-perishable food and or monetary collection or individuals can make donations to area food banks and pantries on their own. Fayette County Community Action Agency Food Bank supplies 47 volunteer food pantries and congregate feeding sites. Contributions can be mailed to Community Action at 108 North Beeson Boulevard, Uniontown, or online at https://fayette-county-community-action.networkforgood.com/. Anyone who has donations they would like to be picked up can call 724-580-7001.

Cheers to the Waynesburg Central wrestling team for advancing to the WPIAL Class AAA Team Playoff semifinals on Saturday at Norwin. The top-seeded Raiders defeated Pine-Richland (56-18) in the first round and Latrobe (49-15) in the quarterfinals. Waynesburg wrestles Hempfield in the semifinals at 4 p.m. The finals and consolation finals follow at 6 p.m.

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