THUMBS UP: To King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church for hosting its seventh annual Christmas Eve meal to feed the needy and elderly. The church needs volunteers to assist with the meal. Call 247-2934 or 671-1926 for information on how you can help.



THUMBS UP: To Dance Arts for its annual series of performances of "The Nutcracker." In 1972, Linda C. Chase, Dance Arts owner and director, debuted her choreography for the show. Now, the ballet is considered a beloved part of Valdosta's Christmastime.



THUMBS UP: To everyone who participated in making 2004's WinterFest a success. An estimated 9,000 to 10,000 people turned out for the festival. One of the long-range benefits of WinterFest is that newcomers get to see what downtown Valdosta has to offer.



THUMBS DOWN: To French police for losing plastic explosives at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Police stowed explosives into a random passenger's bag as part of a security exercise. The only reassurance officials offered is that the explosives had no detonator.



THUMBS UP: To Memorial Hospital of Adel for receiving the Hospital of the Year award for 2004 from HomeTown Health LLC. The 60-bed hospital was judged among 42 other hospitals affiliated with the organization.

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