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Thumbs up, thumbs down

February 27, 1998

To the West Virginia State Police, for their wise decision to settle a suit brought by the parents of Amanda Smailes, killed in 1996 by a motorist police were chasing.

To Washington County Commissioner Jim Wade, for the quick thinking that saved a city-county meeting on sewer cooperation from dissolving into chaos. Wade wisely saw that a small step forward was the best the county could hope for.

To the more than 100 people who attended this past week's hearing on the Washington County school budget. It's a welcome change from last year's handful of attendees.

To Maryland Del. Michael Burns, R-Anne Arundel, for his bill to restrict the Orioles' ability to increase ticket prices. Isn't this the same lawmaker who usually opposes government meddling in private business?

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To the Chambersburg, Pa. Borough Council, for replacing their 1974 building maintenance code with a new one. It's time to fix up some of these deteriorated buildings.

To Maryland Del. Kenneth Montague, D-Baltimore, who can't understand why someone who violates a domestic protective order by killing the person who obtained the order should be charged with first-degree murder. Well, duh.

To Stephanie Fredericksen of Martinsburg, W.Va., for the Sweet and Spicy Beans and Rice recipe that took her to the finals of the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. She also cooks TNT chili.

To Maryland Del. Bruce Poole, D-Washington, for his proposal to restore some state funds for apprenticeship training in the building trades. Not everybody can or should go to college, but everybody needs a job.

To the U.N. Secretary-General Koffi Anna, whose negotiations delayed, for a time at least, the day when our soldiers will have to risk their lives in Iraq.

To independent counsel Ken Starr, for questioning White House staffers before the grand jury to ask what they said to reporters and what reporters said to them. What this has to do with Whitewater or even Monica is a mystery.

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