In the edition following bitter election campaigns, it has become a happy tradition for The News-Times to draw attention to some reasons for celebration that may have been overshadowed in all the political squabbling.
There is always plenty to cheer in Columbia County. Highlighting some of these people and events is a good way to remind winning candidates of the things they were fighting for in the election, and to remind both sides that, no matter the outcome, we all still enjoy living together in this community -- and that it is a really good community.
As this is written, we don't know the outcome of any of the primary elections. So, congratulations to the winners, better luck next time to the losers, and for both sides, let's celebrate some of the good things Columbia County has to offer:
Earlier this year, following well-publicized fears of medical emergencies involving athletes, Doctors Hospital and the American Heart Association joined forces to provide Automated External Defibrillators to area public facilities.
Doctors Hospital is now adding 30 more AEDs to Columbia County schools and to Augusta Prep, providing enough of the life-saving devices to cover all area schools -- some with more than one.
"Our county is far ahead of other counties with having this life-saving equipment on hand in so many locations," says Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County's Emergency Services Division. These new devices will be added to the 62 already in place in the county.
When Columbia County residents tune in the Summer Olympics from Greece, they'll see a familiar face during track and field competition: former Lakeside High School shot put star Reese Hoffa.
Hoffa, who also competed at the University of Georgia, finished second in the July 10 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, beating out competitors that included the world's top-ranked shot putter.
"Making the Olympic team has been a dream and I have now reached that goal," an excited Hoffa told News-Times sports writer Jonathan Heeter after his throw of 69 feet, 4 1/2 inches landed him one of three spots on the U.S. team.
Finally, congratulations to Harlem High School's culinary competition team, which last week brought home the bronze medal from national cooking competition in Chicago.
The student's phenomenal success is a credit to their teacher, Barbara Howard, and a ringing validation of the importance of the Columbia County school system's new Pro Start foods program.
Most of all, though, the national honor is sizzling success for the young cooks: Cassandra Heim, Ashleigh Pangelinan and Anthony Zimmerman.
Way to go!
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.