Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down – January 30

Floral artist

Thumbs-up to Bobby Eldridge, owner of Prestigious Affairs. The Seymour florist travels to southern California after Christmas each year to help create a float for the Tournament of Roses parade. This year, Eldridge’s float won the Director’s Trophy for outstanding artistic merit in design and floral presentation.

Brave bird watchers

Thumbs-up to the two dozen hardy souls who braved the cold weather the morning of New Year’s Day to count birds at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge officials said the count is not about spotting individual birds but tracking trends involving birds that migrate through the refuge each year. Bird watchers this year spotted 72 species of birds.

Locks of Love

Thumbs-up to Amy Gorbett for donating her hair to Locks of Love in memory of her brother, Rick McCormick, who died of throat cancer April 12, 2012. The national nonprofit organization accepts donations of human hair, which it uses to make wigs for children who have lost their own hair while undergoing cancer treatment or for other medical reasons.

Special athletes

Thumbs-up to the athletes from Jackson County and elsewhere throughout southern Indiana who participate in the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. It’s a special event and one well worth attending.

Seymour Noon Lions Club members also deserve a thumbs-up for organizing the tournament and finding sponsors such as Jay C Food Stores, the local McDonald’s restaurants and Pepsi Cola Co. who provide food and drinks for the athletes and coaches.

United Way

Thumbs-up to everyone who has contributed or plans to contribute to the Jackson County United Way this year. The organization wanted to raise $745,000 in 2014 through the “Hope for Our County Campaign” and is close to achieving that level. The United Way’s 20 partner agencies focus on creating long-lasting change for everyone in the areas of education, health and financial stability.

Unnecessary risks

Thumbs-down to motorists who ignore warnings about flooded roads. They put their lives at risk along with the people who have to venture out and rescue them. It happens every time the East Fork White River floods, which is often. The solution is pretty simple, according to police. If there’s water on the road, don’t drive through it.

Church thefts

Thumbs-down to people who break into churches and take money meant for operations and programs serving church members and the public.

More precautions for pets

Thumbs-down to pet owners who fail to take extra precautions when temperatures fall to dangerous lows.