THUMBS UP: To Chet Powell, park ranger with Reed Bingham State Park, and the volunteers who help save hundreds of gopher tortoises each year at the park. Help from their two-legged friends at the park ensures the survival of the tortoises in South Georgia. For information on volunteering, visit www.gastateparks.org and follow the links to Reed Bingham, or call (229) 896-3551.



THUMBS UP: To the volunteers honored Thursday at the 2005 Community Partners in Education awards banquet. Individual volunteers, civic organizations and businesses were recognized by the Lowndes County and Valdosta City School systems for their commitment to education.



THUMBS DOWN: To State House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, for seeking to build a vacation home on St. Simons beach property that residents have been fighting 30 years to protect from development. Richardson is pushing to build on about 50 acres that have been created by wind and tides through the years. Building on the land will deny other subdivision residents their rights to recreation and beach access. Richardson lacks concern for their wishes and intends to take his case to the Georgia Supreme Court.



THUMBS UP: To organizers of the Harvey L. Moore Azalea City Classic, held last weekend in Valdosta. The event featured a tailgate party, a parade, and a number of other exciting events leading up to the Saturday night matchup between Morehouse and Edward Waters at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Events such as these help promote our community and bring in visitors to our friendly city.

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