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Thumbs Up! Aug. 12, 2013

Editorial

When Karen Kemp was named interim director of the Albany Museum of Art back in August 2012, it seemed like a good idea. As it turns out, it was better than just ‘good’ and the interim tag has been vanquished. Kemp has a lot of experience working with people, knows a lot of people and is simply one of those folks that has a personality that is pleasing. Someone to move the museum forward all the while willing to try new things yet not overpowering, she works well with all sorts of people. To sweeten the deal, Kemp has been instrumental in the renovations going on in the past months and will likely be the happiest person in attendance when the grand “re-opening” falls on the same day as a fundraiser for cancer patients. On Aug. 15, the public is invited to come see just what has been going on at AMA and enjoy live entertainment as well. In a joint effort with the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia, the day’s activities will benefit an art therapy initiative for those suffering from cancer. Come see your museum, you’ll be glad you did.

Tuesday was the Albany Police Department’s turn to host its National Night Out. Parents and children attended the event at the Albany Civic Center and were treated to a games and music as well as all sorts of valuable information about safety within the community. Officers with the department were unable to say just how many school supplies were given away due to generosity of the community in its donations. This year was the 30th such event sponsored by the APD and the party was dubbed a “going away party for drugs.” Thanks, APD and all the sponsors and donors, and to the drugs we say, good riddance!

In November 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Labor launched several initiatives aimed at putting the state’s returning veterans to work. One such program involves the Department of Driver Services (DDS) and is called Troops to Trucks. The idea is to accelerate the process of obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). And now, the program has come to Albany Technical College. ATC can now assist returning veterans get behind the wheel and began a new career as a member of the civilian workforce. Delivery of so many products depend upon the trucking industry and who better to deliver those goods than the dedicated men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces?

Westover High School can be proud of the work done in its Advanced Placement arena. Students and teachers concentrate on not just college-level courses but excelling in the program. The College Board has announced that 14 WHS students have earned AP Scholar designation based upon their performances on the 2013 examinations. Well done!

For those of us that can remember when a cop only showed up at school on career day, it is hard to really understand how and when did it become necessary for officers to be assigned to public schools every day. The fact is that schools all across the country have certified law enforcement officers with better attendance than many of the students. In Dougherty County, the system has its own force. Sad as that may be, these officers need the appropriate equipment to protect the students, staff and themselves. It was good to hear that the DCSS Finance Committee willingly approved sending out for bids for 25 new bullet-proof vests. Here’s hoping the vests still look brand new 10 years from now.

A special thank you goes out to Jackson Heights Elementary School for allowing The Albany Herald staff access to the building to document through photographs the first day back at school. The children were orderly, staff was smiling and classrooms were well prepared. Dr. Brian Simon, principal, is a giant of a man but wears his heart for children all over his sleeve.

— The Albany Herald Editorial Board