THUMBS UP

To “Project Prosper” – Aiken County Council is working to attract an unnamed manufacturing company whose $14 million investment could mean 38 new, full-time jobs in Aiken County.


To more local control over elections – Local state House members have introduced legislation to put the Election Office under the supervision of Aiken County Administrator and County Council members instead of the delegation.


To citizens taking action – Dozens of Wagener residents concerned about a string of burglaries in their community turned out for last week for a meeting to discuss the problems. It's good to see so many people working for the betterment of the community.


To the new spelling champ – Michael Havasy, a sixth-grader at North Augusta Middle School, won the annual Aiken County School District's Spelling Bee on Monday. Michael edged out runner-up Kaylee Westbrook, a fifth-grader from East Aiken School of the Arts. He moves on to the regional Spelling Bee in Augusta.


To Jim and Carolyn Baggott – The North Augusta couple was honored as the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year last week.


THUMBS DOWN

To our Southern-fried foods – We've heard it before, but yet another study is pointing to deep-fried foods and sugary drinks as part of the reason the Southeast has been dubbed the nation's “stroke belt.” It's time to swap out that hamburger and fries for some whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A little more exercise wouldn't hurt most of us.


To an asteroid buzzing close to earth – This could be a thumbs up because it is fascinating that a 150-foot asteroid will zip past Earth this week – just 17,000 miles from the surface and the closest known approach ever for an object of this size. While NASA scientist say there's no reason to worry, it is a little disconcerting that it's coming so close.