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Folks who deserve our thanks

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By Vince Luecke

I think the newspaper does a good job of extending thanks and congratulations to individuals and businesses who are recognized for their work, hard work and commitment to community.

Many of the letters to the editor we publish each week voice thanks to our neighbors who lend their time, talent and treasure to various projects. Our Hometown Heroes feature published approximately every two weeks offers an opportunity to thank individuals who might not otherwise receive the thanks they deserve. But, sometimes, good works go unnoticed.

So, here are a few words of congratulations for jobs well done.

They've received attention already, but hats off again to police officers, paramedics, firemen and others who helped rescue Debbie Howell last month from her burning home. Police officers Bryce Hammack and Lee Chestnut, firefighters Chris Axton and Brett Birchler (Hammack is also on the fire department), paramedic John Gebhard and Tell City Police Department dispatcher Kathy James did their jobs well that early morning.

Gebhard was unable to attend the April 21 works board meeting to accept praise in person, or to have his photo taken, so he deserves a few pats on the back.

Congratulations also to officers recently promoted at the Tell City Police Department, Greg Hendershot to chief of police, John Allen to assistant chief and Alan Malone to lieutenant.

Other officers were in the running for those promotions and would have been good choices, too, but hard choices have to be made and I know Mayor Barbara Ewing took her time in making them.

Micah Jackson deserves a round of applause for his tenure as the county's animal-control officer. He recently stepped down from the position. He provided a much-needed service across all of the county, was on-call at all hours and I can attest he did a good job.

Hats off to candidates on Tuesday's primary-election ballot for deciding to run, putting themselves in line for public scrutiny and being willing to serve.

No matter who wins and loses tomorrow, we're all better off for having choices on Election Day.

Sometimes news doesn't reach us as timely as it should. David Edwards stepped down a few months ago as chief of the Central Perry Volunteer Fire Department and deserves thanks for his tenure as chief.

He and all the chiefs of local fire squads do a lot of work that goes unnoticed. Of course, firefighters battle fires but there is a great deal of administrative paperwork chiefs have to handle. And of course there is always the work of keeping equipment in good repair and raising money for future needs.

Commendations go to the recent graduates of Leadership Perry County for their commitment to that program over the past several months.

As we reported last week, the class has chosen to aid in the fight against methamphetamine as their class project.

Upcoming forums sponsored by the group will show that the drug affects more than just addicts, but families and even all of us. Children of adults using meth sometimes have to be placed in foster care and that not only takes money, but most importantly, takes people willing to open their homes to endangered children.

Personally, I worry about how the war on meth will be won. New addicts are made every day and the drug's addictiveness makes it so very difficult for those who want to go clean to stay that way. At the heart of the problem are the drug's makers, who have become local meth kingpins generating tens of thousands of dollars.

They and their supporters not only make the drug but push it onto others, reportedly even offering free samples. Of course, they know that most will become addicted and turn into meth customers.

Congratulations to Tell City firefighters on the completion of renovations that turned underutilized space on the west end of the building at 12th and Mozart streets into a kitchen and comfortable meeting room.

A generous donation funded the work and volunteers did most of the labor.

An open house at the station from 4 to 6 p.m. today is your chance to see the work. A brief dedication ceremony is scheduled for 5:30.

Meetings of the city's works board and council will be held in the station this evening and everyone is welcome to stay for those sessions at 6 and 7 p.m.