Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to local athletes for their performances in state playoffs. Crater's baseball team, North Medford's baseball and softball teams and St. Mary's School's track team, led by three-event champion Sarah Bennion, all have excelled. Golfers Kevin Murphy of Rogue River and Dylan Wu of St. Mary's finished first and second in the state. Wil Cochrane of Phoenix is state champion in tennis, as are Ashland's Hanna Greenberg and Vika O'Brien in doubles.

Local talent is shining at the college level, too: Southern Oregon University has 24 track and field athletes at the NAIA national championships in Marion, Ind., this week. And the Oregon Tech Owls softball team performed well in the national tournament, winning its first two games before falling short, despite the best efforts of Rogue Valley athletes Taylor Schmidt, a pitcher from North Medford, and Ashleigh Larson, a second baseman from Crater.

If we've overlooked anyone, please forgive us. It's not by design, and it's easy to do when there are so many successful programs in these parts.

Cheers — to a group of mostly homeless men who leaped into action Saturday, chasing down and holding a man who had snatched a woman's purse. The men had just finished a community potluck meal at the Lithia Park gazebo and sere sitting in a parking lot on Winburn Way when they heard the woman calling for help and saw a man running down the street. The man dropped a purse and tried to run, but they surrounded him and held him until police arrived.

Jeers — in the "is nothing sacred" department — to an auction house in the Channel Islands between England and France that is attempting to sell a vial it claims contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan. PFCAuctions claims the vial is from a laboratory that tested Reagan's blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt. Jeers also to anyone craven and foolish enough to bid on an item that probably isn't even genuine. Bids topped $14,000 Wednesday.

Cheers — to new expansions of the Bear Creek and Rogue River greenways. The Larson Creek Greenway Trail will extend 1,500 feet from the Greenway bike path to Ellendale Avenue. Eventually, plans call for the trail to reach North Phoenix Road. Along the Rogue River, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge is planned across Sardine Creek as part of a three-quarter-mile extension of the Rogue River Greenway.

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