ROSES, and lots of them, to the lovely, gracious, hilarious, quick-tongued and multi-talented Harriette Leidich, the beloved Banner columnist who celebrates her 102nd birthday Saturday. "I've had a wonderful life, and I wouldn't take back any of my stories ... they're all true," she told the Banner on Friday. Don't take back a single one, Harriette. Have a very Happy Birthday!

ROSES and godspeed to the three area athletes who are headed to Boston to compete in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Jesse Robson of Bennington; Danielle Fogarty of North Bennington; and Jan Rancatti of Readsboro will be among the 36,000 runners. "I wanted to be a part of something that big, to prove that we're not scared to be there to run down Boylston Street," Robson told the Banner.

THORNS to the fact that Vermont's homeless population is on the rise, according to the 2014 Point-in-Time survey. The survey found that the state's homeless numbers grew by 9 percent this year, but officials say that number is actually much higher.

ROSES to Project Against Violent Encounters, which is helping to put prepaid cell phones in the hands of victims of domestic violence through a grant from Verizon's HopeLine cell phone recycling program. Every six months, PAVE receives about 20 refurbished phones from Verizon with 3,000 prepaid phone minutes and 9,000 text messages each. Stop by Verizon Wireless at 359 Main St., Bennington, to donate an unwanted cell phone to the HopeLine program, or go to