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The good deeds of 2007

December 31, 2007

Often The Herald-Mail Opinion Page editors use this space to take government to task for one action or another. Today, on the last day of this year, we would like to look back to some of the good things government did in 2007.

The Washington County Commissioners hired Greg Murray as the new county administrator and Earl Stoner as county health officer. Murray, the longtime head of the county's Department of Water Quality, and Stoner, the former deputy health officer, are proof that government need not go "out of town" to obtain quality department heads.

In 2007, Tim Troxell and the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission managed to lure Cinetic Landis Grinding Corp., long an industrial landmark in Waynesboro, Pa., to Washington County.

The firm plans to build a $10.5 million plant here and bring approximately 150 jobs that pay a higher-than-average wage.

One of the highlights of the past year was "The Big Read" project.

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The Community Foundation, the Washington County Free Library, Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Board of Education and other groups, including The Herald-Mail, sponsored the project to get adults in the community to read an important book and discuss it.

The book chosen was "To Kill a Mockingbird," a look at how race affected justice in the American south. The book also explored how children interpret the actions of adults. The novel won a Pulitzer Prize, then became an Oscar-winning movie, starring Gregory Peck as the main character, Atticus Finch.

There are certainly other important things that happened during 2007, but one deserving of praise is the Washington County Board of Education's decision to move forward with the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts on Hagerstown's South Potomac Street.

Not only will the school provide opportunities for those young people seeking careers in the arts, it will also help with the revitalization of downtown.

Are there some things we've missed? Send them to Missed, c/o Editorial Page Editor, The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Or e-mail items to opinion@herald-mail.com.

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