Thumbs up to the city of Florence for hiring a consulting engineer to try to solve a mystery at the closed municipal solid waste landfill on Alabama 20. A section of the dump, which was closed a year ago, is showing strange groundwater flow. That is a concern because leachate from the buried garbage could be entering nearby springs and Cypress Creek. With the proximity of the landfill to the creek, the city needs to solve this mystery and take action if the closed facility is polluting the streams and groundwater.
Thumbs down to Alabama state Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan for getting himself into an embarrassing mess. McMillan, a Republican, defeated Democrat Glen Zorn in the 2010 election and then hired Zorn as an assistant commissioner. That may have been a wise move, considering Zorn's considerable experience. McMillan made a mistake, however, when he also tried to hire his GOP primary opponent, Dale Peterson, for $72,686 a year. Peterson, who embarrassed the entire state with bizarre campaign advertising, accused McMillan of trying to sideline him from running again in 2014.
Thumbs up to the folks who got their annual flu shot in the fall or winter. Although the vaccine is no 100 percent guarantee of not catching the flu, it does greatly reduce the chances. The flu and flu-like ailments are rampant across the United States, swamping hospitals with patients. The flu season, which usually doesn't become widespread until late January or February, has struck early this year. Officials estimate that between a third and a half of the U.S. population has been vaccinated.
More officers on campus
Thumbs up to the University of North Alabama for adding 12 reserve police officers to help beef up patrols on campus. Although UNA officials say the reserve officers are not a reaction to complaints about crime at the university, the presence of the officers should make students feel more at ease. The officers must graduate from a nine-month training program. While the addition of the volunteer officers is good news, the campus still needs to take additional steps, including more security cameras in parking areas.