Thumbs Up! March 17, 2014

ALBANY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: See who deserves a thumbs up this week.

More than 150 Dougherty County School System middle and high school students participated in the 42nd Annual Darton State College Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 14. All are to be commended for their efforts. First place projects in the Senior Division include Ty’Tiaunna Thomas, Monroe Comprehensive High School, Malisha Jones, Albany Early College and Westover Comprehensive High School students Mary Rachel Bonner, Hannah Allen, Alexis Matheiu-Rowe, Joshua Collins, Julliette Hu, Dillion Notz and Chelsea Lee. First place winners in the Junior Division include Kaylie Hankinson and Keidon Bryant, Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School, Janverely Sutton, Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts and Merry Acres Middle School students Jay Bowen, Sarah Norton and Kanijah Williams. Good job!

The emergency medical services (EMS) director for Worth County and Phoebe Worth Medical Center, Kevin Lassiter, has been named Emergency Medical Services Director of the Year for Southwest Georgia. Lassiter was selected from EMS directors in the state’s Region VIII, which includes 27 counties as well as a number of private emergency services.

For the first time in more than five years, the Dougherty County School Board believes it will be able to eliminate teacher furlough days. While Chairman Carol Tharin stressed that the system must wait on the state to finalize its funding for the upcoming year before the decision is official, all signs point in that direction. Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely attributes the ability to make such a move to better budget management and improving finances for the system. Obviously one has led to the other. The BOE will likely have to dip into its reserves to cover at least part of the $2 million it will take to restore the teachers to a full schedule of days, but isn’t that what reserves are for? To the teachers that have endured throughout the furloughs, thank you for hanging in there.

At the request of a Lee County resident, a special tip of the hat is due a group of volunteers. The behind-the-scene supporters of the recent 911 Heroes Run are what made this community event successful. Among those groups are the Lee County Chamber of Commerce, Lee County Youth Council, Lee County EMS, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Leesburg Police Department, Boy Scouts and many more.

The May 20, 2014, primary election has all the makings of a great example of America’s democracy. In Dougherty County, voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots in races that can change the face of Albany’s local government. A number of fresh faces have stepped up, paid their qualifying fees and are ready to hit the campaign trail. The ball is now clearly in the court of the voters. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 21. Don’t miss it.

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard has a full plate most days and says she really didn’t think much about it when she was notified in January that she was a nominee for a Georgia Minority Business Award as Mayor of the Year. When the call came last week from the Atlanta Business Journal, a co-sponsor of the awards, to let Mayor Hubbard know she had won, it was, in her words, “a huge surprise because I don’t do this for personal attention. ” Just such an attitude is one that draws attention and, in this case, shines a positive light on Albany. Thumbs up to you, Mayor Hubbard.