THUMBS UP

To musician Jesse Colin Young: The former lead singer of the folk rock group the Youngbloods, Young is writing and releasing new tunes as well as giving back to the Aiken community. He and his wife Connie served as hosts of a concert at The Wilcox on Thursday that benefited Golden Harvest Food Bank. The couple also arranged for six children interested in music to attend the concert for free and meet the musicians.


THUMBS DOWN

To Gloverville Head Start closing its doors: The federal budget sequester found its way to the Aiken-Barnwell Regional Head Start agency – resulting in the loss of services for 52 children at the Gloverville facility. The program provides a variety of preschool services over a two-year period to help children get ready for kindergarten. Parents of children who would have attended the site for the second year have fortunately been offered a chance to enroll their children at the Head Start facility in Aiken.


THUMBS UP

To football player Jakar Hamilton: The Strom Thurmond High School alum is getting a once-in-a-lifetime shot at joining the Dallas Cowboys. He's dealt with personal issues, academic challenges and injuries over the course of his football career, but he's aiming to overcome those obstacles to join the roster.Hamilton has been praised not only for his football prowess, but also for his willingness to play a physical brand of football.


THUMBS DOWN

To the deaths of two South Carolina families: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of two South Carolina families that were killed in an airplane crash in Alaska. It's a sad moment to lose anyone in such a way, but it hits even harder when it's two close-knit families from our state.