THUMBS UP: To Berrien Academy Performance Learning Center for being granted a second five-year charter. The school opened in 2005 and has succeeded in raising the graduation rate from 49 percent in 2004 to 74 percent in 2010. The public charter school is operated in partnership between the Berrien County Board of Education and Berrien County Collaborative Inc. It serves as many as 75 students in grades nine through 12.

THUMBS UP: To Sen. Tim Golden (D-Valdosta) for being named to the new Special Joint Committee       on Georgia Revenue Structure. The committee was established, along with the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, through House Bill 1405. During the 2011 session of the General       Assembly, the committee will consider legislation that would implement recommendations by the special council, which is charged with conducting a thorough study of the state’s current revenue structure.

THUMBS UP: To Valdosta State University football for being picked to finish third in the Gulf South Conference, according to a poll by the conference head coaches released last week. North Alabama  and West Alabama were selected to finish first and second, respectively. Last season, the Blazers were tied for third in the Gulf South Conference with West Alabama at 5-3. North Alabama won with a 7-1 record and Arkansas Tech finished in second at 6-2.

THUMBS UP: To the quick-thinking neighbor who alerted authorities to two suspicious males in his or her McDougal Lane neighborhood. The person called 911 and took a photo of the suspects and their vehicle. The two were eventually apprehended and charged with felony burglary.

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