Thumbs up, thumbs down. What will it be this week?
Let's start with the thumb pointed upward, in this case to the pit crew approach Abbeville County EMS takes to preventing deaths.
Friday's front page shared the story of Zelda Oates, of Due West, who technically died last October. But thanks to specialized training that somewhat mirrors the rapid and well synchronized approach a NASCAR pit crew uses to get cars back on the track in seconds, Oates is very much alive today.
Thumbs down to House Speaker Bobby Harrell for kicking up so much dust about fellow Republican Alan Wilson, the state's attorney general, for sending Harrell's ethics case to the State Grand Jury.
Claims of ethical violations were brought against Harrell by the South Carolina Policy Council. That group and Common Cause correctly argued it would be inappropriate — quite possibly ineffective — for the House Ethics Committee to handle the investigation into the allegations and so the case landed in Wilson's lap. SLED turned its report over to the attorney general who, in turn, released it to the grand jury. Harrell contends he's been hearing all along from Wilson and SLED nothing of any concern was found. Well, if that's the case, why is the investigation's report now in the hands of the State Grand Jury? At any rate, right now Harrell should probably say as little as possible rather than protest too much. We do look forward, however, to when the report's contents will be made public.
Thumbs up to Claude Thomas and Sarah Sherwood. Thomas is chairman of Abbeville County Council and Sherwood is Abbeville's mayor.
The two are spearheading a project to clean up Thomson Cemetery in Abbeville on Monday, the day set aside in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They hope to bring together a number of groups and individuals to work in unison on the project, and it appears they are headed for a successful day.
Wouldn't it be great if this show of unity among two political leaders could spread? The project is intended to embody the very unity King fought for during the Civil Rights movement, in which skin color and position — social or political — matter not in accomplishing what needs accomplished. And surely if this can be done in Abbeville, what some call the cradle and deathbed of the Confederacy, it can be done elsewhere.
Fairly soon, the fountain in Uptown Greenwood will never run clear. But that's OK. Folks got accustomed to seeing pink in October, as the water was dyed in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But since then, the city was willing to let the fountain serve to raise awareness about other causes. The city had to skip Pancreatic Cancer Month, which was in November, because the fountain was capped to serve as a pedestal for the Christmas tree during part of November and December. But the city thought the cause worthy enough that it turned the fountain purple this month in acknowledging the awareness campaign.