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Stop smoking now

Some folks worry about dead people voting. Others vote for them.

Take, for example, the case of Democrat Marie Steichen, of Woonsocket, S.D. Despite being dead, Ms. Steichen defeated incumbent Republican Merlin Feistner for a commissioner's seat by a 100-64 margin, according to a report by the Associated Press.

And it seems death was contagious in the last election: A candidate for a local board seat in Monroe, N.C., had been dead for a month, but the local Democratic party apparently didn't know it. They ran newspaper ads endorsing Sam Duncan, who's death surprised supporters - including the local sheriff. He won, and now a replacement must be appointed.

A right-leaning, political cynic would say the news stories prove one thing: The only good Democrat is a ... oh, nevermind.

I'm not all that political.

Much ado was made before and after the Thomson High-Washington County football game last Friday. I saw a little bit of everything on both sides of the field: great plays, bad plays, terrible sportsmanship and good sportsmanship.

But it was something that happened after the final whistle that stuck out in my mind.

At Washington County's stadium, there's a little graveyard with tombstones of defeated rivals. As Thomson's players were filing into the locker room after the 17-0 loss, some of the WaCo players decided to start the burial a little early.

That's when Coach Joel Ingram got involved. The first-year coach - who had the dubious duty of taking over a program from Rick Tomberlin, a revered figure in many Sandersville circles - sprinted from the 50-yard line to break up the cemetery celebration.

He walked back across the field, hollering that his team would conduct themselves with class. It was a class act by a coach obviously leading by example.

Meanwhile, it is time for the annual Great American Smokeout, and the Augusta Lynx are offering fans extra incentive to stop killing themselves one puff at a time.

Anyone who turns in his or her cigarettes or tobacco products at the Richmond County Health Departments, the American Cancer Society office, or at the information desk at Doctors Hospital and completes a Georgia Quit Line referral form will receive a coupon for a buy one, get one free admission to the Nov. 21 Augusta Lynx game.

My mother has been smoke free for a couple of years now. Of course, her incentive was a little more significant than Augusta Lynx tickets. She stopped in September 2004, the night she had a stroke doctors traced directly to her years of smoking.

If you won't do it for Lynx tickets, won't you stop smoking for your family? The Smokeout is Nov. 16. Why don't you make that date a milestone in your life?

Web posted on Thursday, November 16, 2006

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