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Thumbs Up! - Feb. 18, 2013

Editorial

The 26th annual Darton College MATHCOUNTS competition was held the first weekend of this month. Schools sending seventh- and eighth-grade teams included Merry Acres Middle School, Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School, Sherwood Christian Academy and Lee County Middle School. The four-hour event featured individual as well as team competition. The top individual scorer was Saloni Patel from Merry Acres, which also took the top team spot. Merry Acres will now compete at the state level next month. The tournament is a national one sponsored by the Society of Professional Engineers.

Many readers can recall when the worst thing a kid could (or would) do in elementary school was talk during class, chew gum or not turn in a homework assignment. It was not unusual for a class to have 30-35 students with one teacher. There was no need for a dress code because everyone knew what was appropriate attire for school. The only time a police officer was seen on campus was for career day. Those days are long gone. It is unfortunate, but it’s a fact that school resource officers are needed, as are metal detectors. On the heels of increased violence in schools, from the inside and outside, interim superintendent of the Dougherty County School System,, Butch Mosely, had ordered that the frequency of metal detectors be increased in all elementary schools. This move is sadly a good one. Anything that can be done to protect the students and staff should be done.

Last month, the Junior League of Albany hosted a 50th anniversary Kickoff event for Albany Advocacy Resource Center. There were presentations honoring long-time supporters as well as games and activities for the program consumers. Bingo treats and party favors were donated by Home Run Foods. On hand, as she has been since day one of Albany ARC, was Executive Director Annette Bowling. For the five decades of service to those with disabilities of every description, ARC provides programs for the young and old, the well-to-do and the poor.

Not every foot is made for walking in high-heel shoes and that is particularly true for men. It takes practice and balance and often a bit of pain to don such an accessory for any length of time. And so, when 65 men put on four-inch red heels and took to the track at the Deerfield Windsor track, the sight was like no other. “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” has become an annual fundraiser for the Lily Pad Sexual Assault Center. Participants were cheered on by family and friends and the laughter was frequent. The initial tally of funds raised topped $20,000. For this, those that will benefit, victims of sexual assault and abuse, offer up a big “thank you.”

For the most part, obese children become obese adults. Obesity is a huge health problem in this country. Pamela Green Jackson knows first-hand that obesity can and does lead to death. Nine years ago, Jackson lost her only brother to obesity-related diseases. It was then that she decided to everything within her power to fight the problem though nutrition, fitness education and physical activity programs for young people. Youth Becoming Healthy (YBH) has placed fitness centers in eight Dougherty County schools. In 2009, the first summer wellness camp was held for youngsters referred by their pediatricians for intervention. YBH continues to grow and expand and educate, all because Jackson, an Albany native, loved her brother enough to want his memory kept alive. On Friday, President Barack Obama awarded ten 2012 Presidential Citizen Medals, the second-highest civilian honor given. Pamela Green Jackson was at the White House Friday. She was one of the recipients. Congratulations!