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Thumbs Up! August 25, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Good news to start the week

Last Tuesday, elementary students from Sherwood Christian Academy loaded up on buses for a trip to the upper campus. While not your typical field trip, the young students made the trek across the county for an important reason. As apparent by the orange netting, concrete blocks and giant equipment, there is a big construction project going on at the upper campus of SCA on Old Pretoria Road. The younger students were invited to sign a beam that will be a part of the new elementary wing. Headmaster Brian Dougherty told the children that they “are now a part of God’s project.” Plans are for the two campuses to become one by the school year 2015-16.

Folks caught up in last weekend’s Operation Thunder are likely at least some of the same folks sending in opinions to The Squawkbox. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, with the help of the Georgia State Patrol, the Albany Police Department, and the Dougherty County Police Department, spent three nights stopping drivers at road checks. The goal of Operation Thunder is a simple one — making the roads safer. High-risk behaviors such as speeding and driving while drunk are not just about the driver, but every other driver and passenger he or she happens upon. Reports from this recent operation speak volumes for the need: 15 drug arrests, 49 child seat citations, 32 suspended license citations, 10 felony arrests and numerous other violations. The eye-popping and frightening stat was the 101 drivers found to be under the influence. Thank you, officers, for protecting the unsuspecting.

Tift Park has come alive again with the new community market. The efforts of Friends of Tift Park as well as numerous vendors have sparked a fire where none has been for quite some time. The Albany Recreation and Parks Department and Youth Becoming Healthy are planning Albany Family Play Day on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the park. In a press release, the question is posed this way, “When was the last time you played Simon Says, tossed a Frisbee or took part in a sack race?” The family-friendly event offers the opportunity to everyone, young and not so young, to play like a kid again. Craft activities, bouncy rides, relay races and more will bring a day filled with memories. Load up the whole family, the camera, a picnic and enjoy the great outdoors. The event is free and the location is a beautiful one.

Speaking of family events, another one will take place in Ashburn soon. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will arrive at Carroll’s Sausage just off Interstate 75, Exit 82 on Sept. 4. Opening ceremonies will be held the next day at 10 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Tommy Clack, a triple amputee and survivor of the Vietnam War. The names of the veterans of the Vietnam War, the least celebrated heroes in American history, who lost everything to fight for this country are inscribed on the six-foot-tall, 300-foot-long wall. The list of names is equal in number to all the current-day residents of Lee, Terrell, Early, Calhoun and Clay counties combined.

On the same day that unemployment numbers showed an increase in metro Albany, Southwest Georgia and the state, good news chased right behind. United Research Services Corp., a Fortune 500 defense contractor at MCLB-Albany, is looking for 250 skilled workers and hopes to have them all hired by Oct. 1. The pay scale starts at $16.99 an hour and goes up to $25.68 an hour. These contracted positions will be at the base for at least two years. Good pay, good opportunity, good employer and good timing for The Good Life City.