Progress on web entry for Clevelanders and dog-training remedy for veterans

CHEERS … to nonprofit wireless operator DigitalC, which plans to double its capacity to deliver high-speed internet access to low-income areas of Cleveland by the end of this year. Peter Krouse reports that DigitalC already serves about 1,000 households in Cleveland neighborhoods like Buckeye-Woodhill, Central, Clark-Fulton, Fairfax, Glenville and Hough, but has the capacity to serve about three times as many households. DigitalC believes that by adding new technologies and expanding fiber connectivity in the ground, capacity can be increased to reach around 6,000 households by the end of the year. That would be a two-fold increase in capacity this year. We applaud.

CHEERS … to outgoing US Representative Steve Stivers of Columbus, who walked through the US House this week to create a veteran affairs pilot to train service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act, HR 1448, was voted out of the house on Wednesday. Stiver’s last day in Congress is Sunday. The bill would require the VA to set up a five-year-old pilot to test whether training service dogs for veterans with disabilities would help veterans alleviate post-deployment mental health problems and PTSD. “The dogs are trained to do things like block a veteran to make room for them in a crowd or wake them up when they have a nightmare,” says Sabrina Eaton of cleveland.com.

Kudos to Cuyahoga County officials, judges and others for the teamwork, investment and planning of the county’s long awaited diversion center, which opened last week. It instantly makes it easier to ensure that non-violent offenders with addiction and mental health problems get the urgent care they need, rather than being sent to jail where they could be at risk of suicide or overdose. Cuyahoga County Council approved the two-year $ 9.2 million program last December. Peter Krouse reports, “The diversion center is one of several reforms to the justice system, including the bail reform, implemented by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer since the launch of the Justice For All series a few years ago.”

CHEERS … to two Cleveland judges – Judges Cassandra Collier-Williams and Emanuella Groves, of the Ohio County 8th Court of Appeals, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas – for helping and mentoring the Ohio Black Judges Association earlier this year black students are trying to become judges and lawyers. A report from Spectrum News 1 (Ohio), Karlynn Wells, finds that Ohio has only 56 of more than 700 African American judges.

CHEERS … to Former Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, among seven, who was honored with Special Profiles in Courage Awards on May 26th by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for the risks they took to protect others during the coronavirus pandemic. Acton was selected for early public health action to contain the spread of the virus in Ohio despite personal attacks against them. Laura Hancock of Cleveland.com reports that other “COVID Courage” awardees include Burnell Cotlon, “a grocer in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward who put his customers on groceries when the economy closed.” Fred Freeman, “a Hanover, Massachusetts fire department captain and nurse who created a mobile health program to provide COVID-19 testing and other services to residents at home; and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has received threats against her life. “

CHEERS … to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine and Mary Mertz, Ohio Director of Natural Resources for unveiling two new Storybook Trails in Ohio on Monday – Lorain County, Findley State Park in Wellington and Montgomery Counties. at Sycamore State Park in Dayton. The book-lined paths are designed to encourage healthy outdoor exploration and enjoyment of reading. “There are currently eight half-mile storybook trails in state parks across Ohio, each with 15 to 20 children’s boards with pages of a children’s book and an activity that accompanies the text on the page,” reports the governor’s office. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has partnered with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide story content for the trails.

About our editorials: Editorials, including Cheers & More Cheers, express the opinion of the editorial staff of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer – the senior management and editorial office. As is traditional, editorials are unsigned and should be viewed as the voice of the news organization.

Do you have something to say on this subject?

* Send a letter to the editor that will be considered for print publication.

* Email suggestions for future Cheers & Jeers, general editorial questions, or comments or corrections to this editorial to Elizabeth Sullivan, Director of Opinion, at esullivan@cleveland.com.