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Thumbs up, thumbs down

December 25, 2009

Thumbs up to all of the local road crews for the extra hours logged during the weekend reopening the dozens of snow-clogged roads in the Tri-State area. Thank you for a job well done.

Thumbs up to Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan for being named one of four finalists in the 2010 National Superintendent of the Year program. Another well-deserved honor for Morgan, who was named 2010 Maryland Superintendent of the Year in October.

Thumbs down to the Maryland State Highway Administration for deciding to close the restrooms at the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center/rest area on Interstate 68 west of Hancock. Does it make sense to close the I-68 restrooms while continuing work on two multimillion-dollar rest stops along Interstate 70 near the Washington County/Frederick County line? The state can afford the restrooms. It's the rest of these elaborate rest stops that make no sense.

Thumbs up to Gene Hager, who's retiring Dec. 31 as general manager of Antietam Cable Television Inc. in Hagerstown after a long and successful tenure. Hager has overseen Antietam's transformation from a cable television provider to a multimedia communications company also offering Internet and telephone service. You've had a good run, Gene. Enjoy your retirement.

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Thumbs up to the 11-student St. Maria Goretti High School team competing in a contest testing students' knowledge of the Constitution. Goretti's team will represent the 6th Congressional District in a national competition in the coming months. Good luck.

Thumbs up to Zach Kimmel, a defenseman with the Washington County Northstars hockey team, who was named the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hockey Athlete of the Month for December. The award is a good way to honor the South Hagerstown High School junior, who has suffered a broken rib and collapsed lung in the last six months, limiting the amount of time he has been on the ice.

Thumbs up to Washington County Hospital's emergency medicine physicians group, which delivered holiday meals to about 2,300 people on Christmas Eve through its annual Lend-A-Hand Dinner. The dinner is a wonderful undertaking by the physicians and many other volunteers to make sure families have a traditional holiday dinner.

Thumbs up to all those who helped make the holiday season brighter for others in the Tri-State area. Whether is was handing out toys, distributing meals or taking part in other good deeds, many people went to bat for others who are less fortunate, especially those who are suffering through the current recession.

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