Jeers: A challenge encouraging students to vandalize school property has gone viral on the TikTok social media platform, and some kids in Fayette, Greene and Washington counties are participating. The trend involves students vandalizing or destroying school property, most often in bathrooms, and then posting their exploits to social media using the hashtag #deviouslicks. Schools in Frazier, Central Greene and Charleroi districts are among those involved, and the not-so-funny shenanigans are costing money, and in some cases, posing health and safety concerns. “It’s just perplexing why a student would do this,” said Charleroi’s superintendent, Dr. Edward Zelich. “It’s inexcusable. It’s nonsense.” We wholeheartedly agree.

Cheers: The Laurel Highlands football team started its season 4-0 for the first time in program history. Coach Rich Kolesar’s Mustangs rallied from a two-touchdown deficit three times to pull out a 32-29 win at Ringgold last Friday night. Rodney Gallagher led the way with 193 passing yards with a score, an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown and two crucial TD runs in the fourth quarter, the second of which gave Laurel Highlands its first lead of the game with 3:14 left. The Mustangs defense forced Ringgold to turn the ball over on downs on its last possession to seal the win.

Cheers: If you just go by the fire-breathers who populate social media sites or disrupt school board meetings, you would swear hordes of Americans are vehemently opposed to any sort of mask or vaccine mandates, and that imposing such mandates is a surefire political loser. However, a poll by Fox News released earlier this week found a full 67% of Americans – that’s 2 out of 3 – are fully on board with students and teachers having to wear masks in school buildings. At the same time, 66% support mask requirements for businesses, 61% give a thumbs-up to vaccine mandates for teachers, and 58% support mandates for federal workers. It couldn’t be more clear: If you are opposed to vaccine and mask requirements, you are in the minority right now in America.

Cheers: The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded a $2.5 million grant to Greene County so broadband access can be expanded to hundreds of homes in three communities. We were told that the project will provide gigabit speed broadband access to more than 767 currently unserved or underserved homes in the areas around Graysville, New Freeport and Spraggs, and about 105 miles of fiber-optic cable will be installed. Increasing broadband access has been a priority in Greene County and in other rural parts of Pennsylvania. Last year, more than $3 million was put toward broadband improvements in Greene, using money from the CARES Act and capital investments from the telephone service company Windstream. The company is also putting forward $2.7 million for the latest expansion of service, bringing the total cost to $5.2 million. We commend our local and state officials who have been working to improve and expand desperately needed broadband access across Greene County.

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