If every crime victim were as dedicated and as media-savvy as Lois Brown, we'd have a lot fewer unsolved crimes.
While we'd probably all like to think we would be as focused and tenacious if one of our own children was abducted, I'm not sure many of us could match Brown's efforts.
On Jan. 31, Brown discovered that her 14-month-old son, Zeke, had been picked up at day care by his father and Lois' estranged husband, William Brown. That part was legal. What happened next was anything but.
The FBI says Mr. Brown took Zeke to Mexico City. Mrs. Brown took to the media and the Internet, calling attention to Zeke's disappearance.
Mr. Brown was arrested last Thursday, and Zeke's mom brought the toddler back home on Sunday.
Contrary to all the stranger-danger scare stuff, most child abductions, like Zeke's, are part of custody disputes. Far too many end in tragedy. Lois Brown deserves praise for doing everything in her power to see to it that Zeke's story has a happy ending.
Fuller steps up, again
Speaking of happy endings, God bless George Fuller III.
The owner of Four Seasons Landscaping stepped up to the plate when Sheriff Clay Whittle told him that the Columbia County Sheriff's Office dogs for its K9 unit were nearing retirement age.
And no, he didn't want Fuller to get them gold watches. Whittle wanted new dogs.
The department already had two replacements on the way, paid for by drug dealers. (Not through willing donations, mind you, but by seizures of illegal drug money.) But two more were needed.
That's where Fuller came in. He donated $20,000 to the sheriff's office to pay for two additional dogs.
"I figured that (the price of the dogs) was going to be a show-stopper. It wasn't a show-stopper," Whittle told News-Times reporter Valerie Rowell. "I think it is more of the fact that he's a good dad, was concerned about his children growing up in this county."
This isn't the only time Fuller has stepped up with his generosity, either. If you recall, he donated the county's first Christmas tree and planted it at the Justice Center. Then, when it was damaged in an ice storm, he personally repaired the tree, tying the limbs up internally to keep them from sagging. And last year, when the Christmas tree lighting moved to the amphitheater, Fuller planted another tree there.
I guess he's done so much for the Christmas trees, we'll consider the dogs the gifts underneath.
Speaking of gifts, consider this a well-earned thank-you note for the efforts of Bridget Gorta, a senior at Greenbrier High School.
Bridget has helped around The News-Times for a little over a year, writing occasional stories, assisting in office tasks and taking photos for Spotted.
She took on a new role this year when she began working on her senior project, which included a compilation of the history of the newspaper.
Meticulously poring over microfilm archives, Bridget read through 125 years of The Columbia Advertiser, The Columbia Sentinel and The Columbia News to create a sort of "family tree" tracing the newspapers' business lineage.
Other than what we expect to be a good grade for her project, Bridget produced booklets containing the chronology. The News-Times printed enough extra copies to donate one to every Columbia County public school library, and one to each Columbia County public library.
We also this week donated the microfilm archives for the predecessor newspapers to the Columbia County library, where they can be viewed in the county's history room.
Great job, Bridget!
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.