Thumbs up to Colbert County High School graduate Ozzie Newsome for putting together the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens. Newsome can add an NFL championship to his state high school football and three SEC championships. As general manager of the Ravens, Newsome was in charge of selecting players for the team. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. Congratulations to Newsome and the entire team.
Thumbs up to federal, state and local authorities for rescuing a 5-year-old kindergarten student from a kidnapper in Midland City. Although the suspect was killed during the action, the boy apparently was unharmed. The fact that the boy was being held in an underground bunker with very limited access made the rescue all the more remarkable. Authorities, who planted a camera in the bunker, determined the suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes, was becoming increasingly agitated. Dykes had already killed a school bus driver before kidnapping the boy, authorities said.
Thumbs down to officials in the United States for not following the lead of Canada in phasing out the penny, which costs more to produce than it is worth. The Royal Canadian Mint last week stopped distributing pennies to banks. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty declared them a nuisance, saying they have outlived their purpose. The government is urging merchants to start rounding prices to the nearest nickel for cash transactions while cents can still be used for electronic purchases.
Thumbs up state officials in Alabama who are trying to pass legislation to exonerate the Scottsboro Boys. The case dates to 1931 when nine black suspects were accused of gang raping two white women while they were all hoboing on a train. The case led to two significant decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court: criminal defendants are entitled to effective counsel and blacks can't be systematically excluded from criminal juries. Legislation is being introduced by Republicans and Democrats, and has the support of Gov. Robert Bentley.