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From the back nine

In the past, I have stopped running mug shots on the front page unless it was for a major crime, like murder.

Those don't happen often in a small community so when it does it should be above the fold and large.

When I took over the reigns of a South Carolina newspaper in 2002, it seemed we were running mug shots in evry issue. Most of them were small time thefts and drug arrests.

This went on for about my first three months and then my editor made the mistake of putting 12 -- one column by 2 inch mugs on the front page.

Those and the story took up 3/4 of the front page. Overkill for sure, so that day, I made the decision that all mugs go inside with the story on the front if needed. It was an image thing.

It's all on how you package it and present to the reader. I am reminded of this because our local law enforcement agencies have been very busy arresting some of the bad guys and gals.

On the front page of last week's paper we had 15 arrested in one swoop and several more arrested in which the FBI participated.

Turning the page we have three arrested for robberies and in this week's paper we have another arrest and drug charges and two vehicles and almost $4000 in cash was seized.

So while I would rather have more good news on our pages, and I feel we have plenty, sometimes these things run in cycles and that is what we are forced to do.

It is also a good thing because it shows our law enforcement agencies are serious about making McDuffie County a safer place to live.

I knew a police chief who prided himself by saying, "if you want to do drugs, that is certainly your decision, but it ain't gonna happen in my town." He always said it with a little grin on his face.

It appears new Thomson Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson and long time Sheriff Logan Marshall live by the same motto and I can promise the community this: The Mirror will always publish these arrests when they are made and you will never see 12 mugshots on the front page. Look for those on page 2.

Doing an about face, how about them Jaguars of Augusta State bringing home the national championship in golf? At the beginning of Match Play you had Ga. Tech, Florida State, Oklahoma State and ... Augusta State; an intimidating lineup for the Jaguars.

But they overcame and beat Oklahoma State for the championship in convincing style, 3-1-1. Nice one for the little guy.

Web posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010

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