THUMBS UP: To the alert Valdosta Police Department officer who rescued a burning dog Sunday. Officer Steven Weisbrod noticed the dog while patrolling and managed to extinguish the flames and save the bulldog mix puppy from more serious injuries.



THUMBS UP: To the state's new free online SAT prep class, www.satonlinecourseschool.com. Gov. Sonny Perdue and Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox unveiled the online class Thursday. Students will be able to take drills and practice tests and then review the results to determine their strengths and weaknesses.



THUMBS UP: To Bank of America for its $10,000 grant to the 100 Black Men of Valdosta. The grant money will benefit the organization's education fund, which primarily is composed of SAT preparation, college prep and scholarship funds.



THUMBS UP: To those participating in the charity poker tournament today at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. The proceeds from the tournament will benefit the center's programs throughout the year, and creative fundraisers such as this are a great way to ensure participation from the community.



THUMBS DOWN: To ranters who continue to insist that a large university can simply be uprooted and moved due to a perceived inconvenience. Valdosta State University and its beautiful Spanish Mission style architecture, not to mention its students, faculty and history, are an important and integral part of the city. The 100-year old institution is a landmark in this community and should be embraced by its residents.

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