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Thumbs up, thumbs down

April 02, 2010

Thumbs up to the late Ruth Groves Kearney, one of the members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots program who received the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor, during a ceremony March 10 in Washington, D.C. Kearney's son, Stuart McClung, accepted the award on behalf of his mother.

Thumbs up to the three recipients of the 2010 Hagerstown YMCA Adult Achiever award - Carolyn Williams Brooks, Margaret "Maggie" Burnett and Heather Dixon. These outstanding role models and leaders were among those honored at last Saturday's Black Achievers Gala at Fountain Head Country Club.

Thumbs down to the Republican National Committee for a string of questionable spending decisions over the last several months. The latest was a Jan. 31 outing involving several members of the "Young Eagles" GOP group to a sex-themed Hollywood club that cost almost $2,000. The RNC staffer who helped organize the visit was fired, but why was it necessary for the committee to also spend money on other gifts for major donors, as well as more than $18,000 to redecorate RNC Chairman Michael Steele's office?

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Thumbs up to Richard Phoebus Sr., who was honored for his contributions to the community at a tribute last week at Hagerstown Community College. The event also raised close to $100,000 for an endowment to provide scholarships for HCC students.

Thumbs up to Denny Hockensmith, a longtime local baseball umpire who will get a chance to officiate on Little League's biggest stage. The Boonsboro resident was selected to umpire this summer at the 64th Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Thumbs up to the Hagerstown Community College students who organized and spearheaded last Saturday's Antietam Clean Up along Dual Highway in Hagerstown. The effort brought out many bags of trash and generated awareness of the trash problem throughout the Tri-State area.

Thumbs up to Kenise Lewis of Washington County Technical High School, who took first place in last Saturday's Washington County Teen Idol 2010 competition at The Maryland Theatre. Congratulations also to the other contestants who performed at the annual event.

Thumbs up to Dustin Davidson, bass player for the Christian metal band August Burns Red, which was nominated for a Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year. The 21-year-old is a graduate of Washington County High School and was a member of the Smithsburg High School track team that won a state title in 2006.

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