New Castle News

May 7, 2012

City, Laurel teens claim Law Day scholarships

Mary Grzebieniak
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Victoria Evans and Ciara Hovis are the winners of the Lawrence County Bar Association’s 2012 Law Day Essay Contest.

Evans, of New Castle High School, and Hovis, of Laurel High School, were chosen based on their winning essays about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is Constitutional.

In order to write their essays, both seniors researched the legal aspects of the case, which is now before the United States Supreme Court. Each was awarded a $1,500 scholarship.

The two students read their winning essays and were presented their checks at a ceremony Friday in the courtroom of Lawrence County President Judge Dominick Motto. Lawrence County Judges J. Craig Cox and John W. Hodge also attended.

Evans is captain of her school’s varsity cheerleading squad and a member of the cheerleading competition team, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, International Club and Busted Club. She also volunteers in the community. She plans to attend Ohio State University and become a lawyer. She is the daughter of Billie Jo and Vince Evans.

Hovis is a member of student council, the Chamber Choir, the Science Olympiad, the National Science Society, the school musical, the National Honor Society and Peer Leadership. She also does community volunteer work. She plans to attend Penn State University and major in biology. She is the daughter of Cande and Joseph Hovis.

In remarks before the award presentation, Motto said the American Bar Association’s theme this year is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” But he noted access to courts and their operations is being affected by state budget cuts. He said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is running at a deficit because the state legislature has not given it enough operating funds.

He added that Lawrence County will be affected by the cutbacks when it loses one magisterial district judge position in the next few years.

Attorney Jack Flannery, chairman of this year’s Law Day Essay Committee, pointed out this is the 28th year for the contest. He said this year’s awards bring to $63,500 the total that has been given in scholarships from the event.

Other committee members are Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua D. Lamancusa and attorneys Ryan C. Long, Jean K. Perkins, Anthony S. Piatek and Deborah Shaw.