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Passing along good news

In 1991, I covered my first McDuffie County Commission meeting and met Lisa Kitchens for the first time.

As I stretched out and covered more and more events, I noticed one thing: Lisa was everywhere.

When The Mirror cranked up three years ago, she was still everywhere.

But Lisa's 20-year stretch as the news voice of WTHO will come to an end at the end of this month.

Starting April 1, she'll be spending her time honing her Master Gardener skills, traveling with her husband Johnny and taking care of family members.

"I'm excited to get to spend time and enjoy myself with my family," she said.

I'm thrilled for Lisa. I'll certainly miss her weekly contributions to The Mirror, but I know she'll still be around. Even if it's to offer a bit of gardening advice.

Speaking of news, it's rare that Thomson Town Administrator Bob Flanders gets to impart good news. His days are usually filled with complaints, taxes and various town projects. But last week presented the former journalist two "good news" opportunities.

First, Mr. Flanders praised the quick thinking of town workers Sammy Parker and Teddy Daniels, who helped save a house on Langham Street from a yard fire

The two men saw the unattended grass fire last Wednesday, but kept making their rounds. When they came back, the fire was still going, and it was getting closer and closer to a nearby home. They tried to fight it themselves, but had no luck. So they called into Town Hall on their radio and asked Esther Newman to call the fire department to 203 Langham Street. Mr. Parker said he'd been to the door of the house, but couldn't get anyone to answer.

"I told him 'No, I wasn't at home. I was at work," Mrs. Newman said with a laugh.

By the time she got to the scene, firefighters and other town workers had the fire out. And Ms. Newman was a happy homeowner.

"Put a line in there telling everybody thank you for what they did," she said Friday. "I appreciate all the hard work. There were several town employees there, and I know they worked hard to get it out before it got to my house."

Mr. Flanders' second piece of good news was a big drug bust that he attributed to the sharp eye of Thomson Police Sgt. Jared Land - and the sharp teeth of his drug dog sidekick, Kubo. It seems Sgt. Land saw a familiar face - Eddie Daniel Williams - driving through town. One problem: Sgt. Land knew Mr. Williams has an expired license. A short chase ensued that ended with a Kubo-stopped foot pursuit. In the car, Sgt. Land found nearly 140 grams of cocaine - enough to carry a street value of about $15,000, Mr. Flanders said.

"That arrest was a direct result of Sgt. Land going the extra mile and keeping an eye out," Mr. Flanders said.

Sure, politics, police work and newspaper publishing isn't always about good news. But ain't it nice when it can be?

Web posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006

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