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Thumbs up, thumbs down

November 20, 1998

thumbs upTo teachers, students and administrators at Hagerstown's Salem Avenue Elementary School, for all they did to win designation as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

thumbs upTo the 13 Washington County schools which achieved higher scores on state achievement tests and improved their attendance rates, winning cash grants totalling $110,000. It's the fifth year local schools have improved test scores.

thumbs upTo the Pennsylvania state senate, which voted against repealing motorcycle helment laws and in favor of prohibiting those under 18 from riding in the back of pick-up trucks. Sensible measures.

thumbs upTo the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, for ending a high-speed chase with a device that punctured the fleeing vehicle's tires. Every department in the region should be this technologically progressive.

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thumbs upTo the 12 citizens who spent last Friday night sleeping in cardboard boxes in Hagerstown's City Park to draw attention to the plight of the homeless. Thanks for your concern.

thumbs downTo the Internal Revenue Service, for the sloppy organization that allowed IRS employees to steal $5.3 million sent in by taxpayers over the past three years. Now let's find out how these thieves were punished.

thumbs downTo U.S. Army officials, who rejected a proposal to give Cascade citizens access to Fort Ritchie, where they've walked for exercise for years. Give these brass hats permanent KP.

thumbs upTo William "Kelley" Vantz, a Washington County government employee, for the work he did to streamline the county's permits process, cutting the approval time needed for simple projects from three weeks to as little as 15 minutes.

thumbs upTo Williamsport High School's 120-member Blue Band, for qualifying for a regional championship for the first time in eight years under the direction of Ray Chaney.

thumbs upTo Marge Davis, a volunteer for the Hagerstown branch of the American Cancer Society for the past 40 years, including 17 years as chair of the annual Daffodil Days fund-raiser. And she runs her own business, too!

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