Thumbs up to Wise Alloys officials and the leadership of three local unions represented at the plant in Colbert County for negotiating new five-year labor contracts. Neither side gets everything they want when new contracts are negotiated, but it appears this deal is something the company and employees can live with for the next five years. Failing to get the deal done would have been potentially disastrous to everyone involved — the company, workers and our community.
Thumbs up to area schools that have exposed their students to mock elections in recent days. In most cases, that has meant students have been able to cast their ballots for president. In some cases, the process involved students having to state why they favor their candidate of choice beyond mom and dad are voting that way. Regardless of the results, it's a good start in what we all hope will become a lifelong habit of participating in this essential tool of democracy.
Thumbs down to Leighton officials for not keeping a close eye on the town's finances. The former mayor and council fell asleep at the wheel and allowed essentially all of the money the town got from selling its gas district in 2009 to get away from them. Hopefully the new administration can get to the bottom of the issue and be better stewards of taxpayers' money.
Thumbs up to members of the Alabama Army National Guard's 115th Expeditionary Signal Battalion for achieving their mission in Afghanistan with honor. The unit of nearly 500 soldiers are now back home safely. The reception they received from family and their communities is both well deserved and refreshing. Unless you have walked in their shoes, you have no idea of the magnitude of their sacrifice for our country. They deserve a huge "thank you."