April Fool's Day is traditionally a time for pulling pranks and practical jokes at others' expense.
Usually the pranks are all in good fun, and let's hope any of them playing out today are harmless.
Whatever the case, it might be a little hard to find humor these days amid recent tragedies. The death of a Fort Gordon soldier and son of a Lewiston Elementary School teacher in a car crash touched that community. Immediately after, the entire community was stunned by the brutal and senseless murder of a Grovetown mother in her home.
But just as surely as the rain washes away pollen, focusing on good news has a way of at least easing some of the anguish of bad news. And one of the best things about being in Columbia County is that there is always plenty of good news for us to celebrate.
Here are just a few bright spots in the news that deserve a little extra attention:
As we recently noted, Columbia County's STAR Student Emily Bragg of Greenbrier High School, and the county's spelling bee champ Rachael Cundey of South Columbia Elementary, headed into region competition.
They've made the county very proud by winning those competitions. Emily will compete in Atlanta April 22 for state STAR honors, where her perfect SAT score will be tough to beat. And Rachael heads to Washington, D.C., in May for the national Scripps Howard Spelling Bee.
* Dr. David Carter, a Martinez orthodontist, recently started a foundation with a simple purpose: To provide braces for adults and children who can't otherwise afford it.
Braces are expensive, at roughly $6,000 for full treatment. And as a cosmetic procedure, they rarely are covered by insurance. But giving someone a presentable smile can make a remarkable difference in their outlook - literally - along with improving their confidence and personal marketability.
* Augusta Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Jim Blanchard has been largely unsung with a tremendous undertaking that could yield phenomenal results for our community: A drug court.
It's not an easy task ahead. In a nutshell, a drug court focuses on addicted offenders, setting up contractual agreements that keep them out of jail - and off of drugs - and involved in work and counseling. The program is still in its very early stages, but its early success is promising. With so much jail space filled with drug offenders, such an effort is a good step toward out-of-the-box thinking.
The past week of events have drawn a cloud over normally peaceful Columbia County. But while the pain might linger, the clouds eventually pass. We have a lot in this community to be thankful for - even in the midst of difficulty. That's worth remembering.
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