Thumbs Up! - Oct. 3, 2011

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Sidney Cochran of Bainbridge. Cochran has served the citizens of Decatur County as a physician since 1979 and has also served on the county's board of education as well as the hospital authority. He may describe himself as a "poor old country doctor" but others declare he is much more than that. An internal medicine specialist at Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge, Cochran has been named one of just 10 "Hospital Heroes" for the entire state of Georgia and the first ever from Decatur County. Nominated for the award by the staff of the hospital, words describing the good doctor included trustworthy and reassuring with having more concern for his patients than for making money. Perhaps Cochran is indeed a "poor old country doctor" and his patients are fortunate that he is just that.

The Albany Police Department held a seminar for the public recently to give tips on securing the homes and businesses that often fall prey to thieves and vandals. Quite likely the simplest but most valuable item discussed was how to thwart copper thieves. Using spray paint to mark air conditioner units is a very easy way to deter a very expensive loss of property. The APD has developed a plan for residents to spray a specific color depending upon the location of the home or business within the city and recycling centers will not purchase any painted parts. Call or go by the Law Enforcement Center to find out more. Spray paint is way less costly than replacing a heat and air unit.

For two years Criterion-Referenced Competency Test preparation has been available for elementary and middle school students at Greater Grace Church of God in Christ. Now the same service is available but in a new location at 1201 W. Oglethorpe Blvd. The Graceland Institute of Higher Learning cut the ribbon to the new facility last week and is ready to continue helping students be successful test-takers. Most of the roughly 70 students that attend the after school program are referred by teachers and/or counselors from their individual schools and receive tutoring, CRCT prep as well as homework help.

Ask just about anyone what he or she knows about the Exchange Club of Albany and the first thing that comes to mind is the fair. While that is certainly one of the biggest events sponsored annually by the club, there are many beneficiaries of the hard work by its members, and not just in the fall. Some of the local programs supported by the club, and this is just to name a few, are The Lily Pad, The Lord's Pantry, Alzheimer's Association, Girls, Inc. and GraceWay. On this your 75th year in Albany, The Albany Herald wants to say a hearty "Happy Birthday" and thank you ... for everything.

If you have ever organized anything, be it a birthday party or a yard sale, then multiply that effort 100 times over to get an idea of the work that goes into preparing for a downtown festival. The first FlintFest took place Saturday and it didn't just 'happen'. A lot of organizing, scheduling and set up by a lot of folks made it come together. Participants came from all around the region and there was something for everyone. Thank you to each person that had a hand in its success and to each person that chose to come downtown for the fun. See you next year.

-- The Albany Herald Editorial Board