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Thumbs Up! - June 18, 2012

A recent agreement between Albany State University and Deerfield-Windsor School will have a ripple effect that produces nothing but positive results. In the fall, DWS upper campus students will be able to register for college-level courses in English literature and calculus. DWS instructors will teach the classes enabling students to remain on campus while earning ASU credits at the same time. The partnership is without a doubt a win-win opportunity for both institutes of learning.

One of the most successful community outreach efforts of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital took place on Saturday. What has become an annual event, the Men’s Health Conference has a way of drawing a crowd. The conference included screenings for diabetes, HIV and cholesterol. Blood pressures and height and weight were also included. Breakfast and lunch were available as were T-shirts and a wide variety of information booths. Previous conference screenings have found health issues that would likely have gone undetected with men, some of which simply never visit a doctor. The free event was a great start to Father’s Day weekend.

The Albany Recreation and Parks Department will soon begin its second session of the 2012 Happy 2 Be Me Camp for youngsters and youth ages 7-17. Located at the Carver Community Center, the session will run 9 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays July 9-27. A camp registration form is required but there is no charge to attend. Activities will include a reading program, aerobics, sports, guest speakers, a talent show every Friday, knitting, swimming lessons, gardening and more. Lunch is also provided. Call (229) 430-5222 for more information.

Albany Advocacy Resource Center, a non-profit provider of services for individuals with disabilities, and Albany State University teamed up earlier this month to provide the Summer Transition Program for the blind or visually impaired. The week-long session served students from Dougherty, Brooks, Grady, Crisp, Echols, Cook and Lee counties. The idea, and a good one it is, is to allow the students life on a college campus. Tours were given of ASU as well as Darton and Albany Technical College. Students were given guidance in educational and career decisions and exposed to technology that could assist them with college and/or work. Plenty of time was reserved for fun activities such as swimming and beep baseball.

Sam Shugart, Evan Barber and Justin Andrews have a plan, a big one. Last week it was announced that the trio has reserved the Exchange Club Fairgrounds for three days in October for the first Southwest Georgia Music & Arts Festival. After the news hit The Albany Herald website then the print edition, Shugart’s phone began to ring. Bands, vendors and fans of the idea want to know more. Before the first day ended after the announcement, plans were finalized to include the Que 4 Kids barbecue competition. This event alone guarantees more than $17,000 in cash prizes. Just how large this festival will be in its initial year, only time will tell. Do your part by telling your friends, family and neighbors about the festival and, most importantly, plan to be there yourself Oct. 14-17.

Before simply deciding yes or no on the upcoming T-SPLOST referendum on July 31, attend one of three upcoming forums and get the information first-hand as to exactly what this tax is all about. The forums will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the following locations: Thursday — Mt. Zion Baptist, 901 Westover Blvd.; June 25 — Rhema Word Cathedral, 601 W. Oglethorpe Blvd., and July 12 — Greater Second Mt. Olive Baptist, 302 Atkins St. Become an informed voter before going to the polls.