THUMBS UP: To Lanier County Elementary School for conducting an academic pep rally and parade recently as part of the Jostens Renaissance program. The program recognizes levels of achievement for students and staff.



THUMBS UP: To Echols County Sheriff Randy Courson and his deputies for doggedly pursuing drug traffickers in their county. Working with other law enforcement agencies, Echols officers have discovered five marijuana patches in two months' time.



THUMBS UP: To the formation of Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer of South Georgia, a new organization that ministers to families coping with cancer. Founded by Barbara Childs, the organization may be reached by calling (229) 834-0987 or (229) 444-2277.



THUMBS DOWN: To news that more than 400 convicted sex offenders in New York and Florida received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. A report from the New York comptroller sent legislators scrambling to close the loopholes that made this unwise use of medical resources possible.

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