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Encouraging, sharing and protecting

They are black and white. They attend public schools. They attend private schools. Their dreams are big, just like the tuition bills they'll face in the future.

But that's where Kim Bragg and company step in.

I spent Monday evening with some of McDuffie County's top students at the McDuffie Scholarship and Loan Foundation annual banquet. The group handed out more than $21,000 in scholarships to 16 area students, grants ranging in value from $500 to $5,000 annually.

And when the students head off to college, a little bit of McDuffie County will be going with them. The McDuffie Mirror donated subscriptions to each, something I was thrilled to do. After all, if we can keep McDuffie County in their minds and hearts, they'll come back and help improve our community. Then, we'll all win in the end.

I KNOW IT'S Relay for Life season when the painted pottys make their way across town.

Thanks to Barney and Janice Johnson, one ended up in my front yard a few weeks ago - much to the delight of my wife. I was on the phone with her when she rounded the curve and caught her first glimpse of the purple throne.

Needless to say, plans to get "that thing" moved started immediately.

And I knew just where it was going: Doug Keir. You see, our esteemed hospital CEO just happened to be passing by my house as city workers dropped off the purple potty.

"I wouldn't use that one!" he hollered from his truck. "It doesn't flush real well!"

Funny guy, that Doug.

So I made sure the potty got to his house on a Friday afternoon, you know, to maximize his alone time with the throne. And, yes, I paid extra to have a special surprise put inside. You do that for friends.

I LEARNED LAST week how hard it is to break a habit. For years, I've driven up Guill Street, made a rolling right onto Ware Street and cut into my parents' driveway.

That all changed last Tuesday. Just days after Thomson Elementary School Principal Beth Newton asked city council members to help two intersections on Ware Street, four-way stop signs went up.

I even watched them being put up, and promptly had to slam on brakes the next day as I made my rolling right. Brand new stop sign. Same old driver.

Apparently, I'm not alone. My mom says she's watched several cars run the signs, and she's just waiting on a repeat of the last accident, which left an SUV on it's side and a couple of Augusta State University students seriously shaken up.

Their accident was not the worst, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

But I am glad it served as a catalyst. And I'm proud that our city officials stepped up and made the change.

Web posted on Thursday, April 27, 2006

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