To Robert Murphy – The 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps was named Outstanding Senior at USC Aiken. While at USCA, created the Student Veteran Organization, worked with the Pacesetters, served on the University Judicial Board and as Chancellor Ambassador, as well as four different honor societies.

To continued economic growth – University of South Carolina economists predicted Wednesday that the state will enjoy stable economic growth in the coming year, but only if Washington politicians reach agreement on spending cuts and taxes to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” They expect job growth of 1.2 percent in the coming year and the increases to occur across a broad array of industries. OK, the agreement part is the big question, but we can wish for compromise and enjoy some potential positive economic news.

To Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta – The organization was one of 10 organizations to receive the Angel recognition and a plaque from the S.C. Secretary of State. It donated 96.7 percent of its total expenditures to charitable programs, the second highest total of the Angel awardees this year. The Angels were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as by nominations from the public.

To the Christmas spirit – Aiken County is alive with the holiday spirit. Everywhere we turn there’s another event, celebration or gathering that enhances the spirit of love, giving and thankfulness.