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Thumbs down to residents who don’t clear the new sidewalks of snow that lead from Riley School along South Main and along Riley Road. The school children would appreciate your doing so. – Roscoe Rogers, New Castle

Thumbs up to Blue River Valley Elementary School student Ava Loveless who selflessly said she didn’t want anything personally for her 12th birthday but would like donations of money for Riley Hospital for Children. She was surprised to collect $400 that she plans to deliver to the Indianapolis Hospital. She finds personal motivation in her brother Finnton Loveless, who was born with a chromosome disorder and who has spent time at the hospital, including being born there.

Thumbs up to Courier-Times Publisher Tina West who is retiring on Feb. 15 from a 41-year career in the newspaper industry. She will be honored with an informal open house at the newspaper, 201 S. 14th St., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Anyone who would like to wish her well is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be available at the come-and-go celebration.

Thumbs up to the Blue River Valley High School girls basketball team for winning the championship of Class A Sectional 56, the program’s first sectional title in 34 years, and advancing to Regional 14 in Tipton.

Thumbs up to New Castle High School girls basketball team for winning the championship of Class 3A Sectional 24 and advancing to Regional 6 in Columbia City.

Thumbs up to New Castle girls basketball player Cameron Tabor for reaching No. 2 on the career scoring list for Trojan basketball, boys or girls, trailing only 1983 Indiana Mr. Basketball Steve Alford.

Thumbs up to New Castle’s Traye Owens, Shenandoah’s Hayden Lohrey and Silas Allred, and Hagerstown’s Jake Combs for winning the championships of their weight classes at the Richmond wrestling regional Saturday, Feb. 2 and to the other four area wrestlers who qualified to advance to the New Castle semi-state.

Thumbs up to New Castle freshman Lylah Hutson for placing second in both the 200 and 500 Freestyle events at the girls swimming and diving sectional Saturday, Feb. 2 in New Palestine, finishing behind only Greenfield-Central senior Carly Logan, who set new sectional records in both events.

Thumbs up to New Castle City Council members for wanting to study further whether or not to join the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (EIRPC). We appreciate the County Council’s concern about costs but believe this is a group Henry County should be actively involved with in the future. Most economic development experts say the most effective way to attract new business is on a regional rather than a local level. Our EDC director, Corey Murphy, has done a good job thus far and deserves a seat at this table. We look forward to hearing an upcoming presentation from the EIRPC at a City Council meeting in the near future and hope the County Council will reconsider its stance on the issue.

Thumbs up to the many ways we see local law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel working together throughout Henry County. Turf battles and big egos are nowhere to be found with these groups. From the Honor Guard we featured in Friday’s newspaper to police, fire and EMS, there seems to be a true collaborative spirit of service. We are blessed to live in such an environment.

Thumbs up to community volunteers and Memorial Park Superintendent Laurie Davis for planning a working dinner for Henry County veterans at the W.G. Smith Building at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. The veterans and military retirees will find out at the free dinner how they can become integral parts of the new veterans museum being built on the lower level of the Smith Building. Call the park office at 529-1004 for more info.

Thumbs up to Henry County representatives and state lawmaker Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) for working with other communities in the region to research novel ways to solve the problem of local jails being overcrowded.