ROSES to those who cared for injured Monument Mountain High School basketball player Bobby Kinne after he was injured during a game at Mount Anthony Union High School on Wednesday. Jeff Wood, MAU's certified athletic trainer, attended to Kinne immediately after Kinne suffered an apparent head injury on the court and was reported unconscious for several scary minutes. Wood stabilized the boy until Justin Berry, Kaitlyn Daniels and Lance Lemiuex of the Bennington Rescue Squad arrived and took over. MAU Activities Director Tim Brown told the Banner "The basketball angels were looking down on us." Kinne spent a night in Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and was released, suffering no apparent nerve damage or fractures, according to his father, Kevin Kinne.

ROSES to those who opt to run for public office this year -- an often thankless job, no matter the position. If you're up to the task, many seats are available on area municipal and school boards. Petitions for office, which require the signatures of 30 voters or 1 percent of a town's voters, are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 27.

ROSES to students in the Emerging Leaders program at Mount Anthony Union High School who on Jan. 10 toured selected businesses in downtown Bennington to practice interviewing skills. Small groups of MAU sophomores and juniors in the program stopped in at places including the Banner, Village Chocolate Shoppe, Crazy Russian Girls Bakery, the VA clinic, Knapp's Music, Toys and Hobbies, the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, and Fiddlehead at Four Corners. Questions asked of business representatives included "How did you get from here to there?" asked by Brady Gerow of Fiddlehead at Four Corners owners Joel and Nina Lentzner. Just opening up a dialogue is a good thing.

ROSES to the organizers of "Gouging for Good: An Overpriced Snack Sale to benefit Meals on Wheels." The event, slated for noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Webster Hall, Second Congregational Church, 115 Hillside Ave., will feature overpriced snack foods and baked goods, proceeds from the sale of which will benefit Bennington County Meals on Wheels. If you're willing to pay extra for a delicious homemade snack food, prepared by volunteers just in time for next week's Super Bowl Sunday, you will help the nonprofit Meals on Wheels make up a shortfall and continue to subsidize meal costs for those in need in the area. Organizers have set a goal of $5,000 -- just a fraction of what a second of television airtime will cost in Sunday's big game.

ROSES to sculptor Jan Martin Bopp who used his battle with myeloma as inspiration for a symbolic artwork that is now a permanent installation at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. The 3-D sculpture, called "My Medical Journey: Trauma to Transcendence," is "a story of some of my physiological ambushes and health challenges and how I have responded, with much professional help, medicine and procedures, fortitude and good fortune," said Bopp at a dedication reception held this week at the center.

ROSES to the state of Vermont for leading the charge against heroin and opiate abuse. Last week Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his State of the State message to the "rising tide of drug addiction and drug-related crime spreading across Vermont." In his budget proposal earlier this week Shumlin called for more than $1 million of additional support for treatment and recovery. This week was the anniversary of the largest drug bust in Vermont history right here in Bennington County with nearly 50 people arrested. Let's let that remain the ‘record' and keep the problem from growing even bigger.

THORNS to those who continue to sell heroin and other drugs in Bennington, including the four suspects arrested Friday at a North Street apartment Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said the dwelling was believed to be a "major source of heroin being sold in Bennington."