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Thumbs up, thumbs down

October 27, 2007

Thumbs up to Ray Linebaugh, North Hagerstown High School Class of 1961, for persuading Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Allegany/Washington, to introduce legislation allowing veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam who left school to enlist to receive their diplomas. Linebaugh, who received the Bronze Star for valor and was the onetime head of the local Joint Veterans Council, got his diploma 46 years after his class graduated. Thanks, Ray.

Thumbs down to the Pennsylvania Department of State, for its decision not to release a statewide list of polling places for fear that it would prompt a terrorist attack similar to those that occurred in Spain just before national elections there in 2004. Critics of the idea point out that such an action would hamper get-out-the-vote drives. A determined attacker could also find sites at any county's elections board.

Thumbs up to Donna Beard and Becky Hogamier of Hagerstown, for their decision to fly to California today to help victims of that state's many wildfires. The two are part of a group of about 35 local volunteers trained by the Washington County Chapter of the Red Cross to do disaster assistance. Both women also volunteered to help after Hurricane Katrina. Thanks.

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Thumbs up to employees at the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant in Waynesboro, Pa., for their decision to remember a co-worker who succumbed to breast cancer by raising money for the Breast Cancer Awareness organization. They did it by baking and selling 500 apple dumplings and a some apple nut bread and zucchini bread. What a sweet way to remember a friend.

Thumbs up to Michael Potter, retiring chief of the Smithsburg Police Department, for the 40 years he spent serving the public in law enforcement. The 60-year-old Potter began his career at the Hagerstown Police Department, then moved to the Maryland State Police, where he served more than 20 years as a road trooper and criminal investigator. After six years as Smithsburg's chief, he says he's ready to spend more time with his family.

Thumbs up to the students of the Washington County Technical High School who participated in "The Big Read" reading promotion by finding models and photographing them as characters from Harper Lee's classic novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird," a book about race and justice in the South. We hope their work inspires more people to read that book and enrich their lives in the process.

Thumbs down to the U.S. Air Force crews who, according to an investigation, decided not to follow a complex schedule to track the status of nuclear missiles while they were disarmed, loaded and moved. Instead, they used an "informal" system, which led to six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles being flown to Louisiana with the warheads attached. Among the items they skipped: A required inspection before the missiles were loaded.

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