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Thumbs column

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Melinda Gassaway

"Season's greetings," faithful readers. May this Yuletide bring you enjoyable times spent with family and friends and new opportunities to serve the needs of Hot Springs and Garland County.

On that note, Brooks and Patti Nickles send out their heartfelt thanks and a definite "Thumbs-up" to all of the people who rallied around them when a storage barn filled with hay and hay-handling equipment -- part of the Williams Brothers Feed Store operation at 401 Broadway -- burned on Monday, Nov 27.

Patti Nickles said, "The individuals at the Hot Springs Fire Department, Hot Springs Police Department and the Hot Springs Street Department were all 'aces' -- very professional, courteous and compassionate. Those at C.J. Horner & Co. loaned us a truck and Greg Carpenter of Carpenter Heating & Air drove up, got out of his truck and said, 'Here, take this one.' A man named Bob came by and gave us a list he'd compiled of available warehouse space and all of my Cutter alumni were very helpful and supportive.

"It is wonderful to be in Hot Springs where everyone pulls together. I'm not sure which was more emotional -- the loss from the fire or the outpouring of generosity."

By the same token, a Hot Springs resident awards a big "Thumbs-up" and expresses his thanks to Monte Everhart of American Tire & Wheel.

In his email, the resident wrote, "On a recent Friday, the youth of First United Methodist Church were headed to a weekend retreat in north central Arkansas. As they assembled late that Friday afternoon, several parents noticed that the church bus that was to carry them to just south of the Missouri border had tire issues.

"After a quick conference with church officials, a call was made to Monte. By this time, it was almost 5 p.m. Monte said, 'No problem,' and to bring the bus to him. Long story short, Monte and his crew not only addressed, fixed and replaced the low tires, but checked all of them.

"He and his crew went above and beyond the call of duty late on a Friday afternoon to make certain our young people would have a safe journey. We are so fortunate to have individuals like Monte Everhart in our community."

Renee Westfall shares her recent post that gives a "Thumbs-up" to the city of Hot Springs.

In it, she wrote, "Following up on a conversation that was started regarding a $50,000 tree purchase for city parks. I decided to ask city leaders to amend the request for ornamental trees to include fruit/nut trees. Guess what? They did and even exceeded expectations by having staff expand the recommendation to add blueberries and blackberries in other locations and set forth a plan as policy in the future. I am grateful that through interaction, we were able to make a difference.

"I would like to acknowledge the work of Directors Fale (Randy) and Garcia (Karen), Deputy City Manager Bill Burrough, Parks Director Jean Wallace, and an urban forestry department gentleman who looked at the idea and said, 'Oh, I can do better than that.' Great job and looking forward to the first harvest that will feed people in need."

On the other hand, here is a "Bah, humbug" and "Thumbs-down" to the crass manner in which the University of Arkansas chancellor, board of trustees, and interim athletic director handled the firing of football coach Bret Bielema just minutes after the team's 45-48 loss to the Missouri Tigers on Friday, Nov. 24.

Everyone in Arkansas and throughout the SEC knew beforehand that Bielema would be fired after a dismal season that left fans clamoring for a change. But, the Arkansas powers-that-be could have waited an hour or so longer before dropping the ax, especially since the team had played one of its most competitive games of the year. Unlike his employers, the coach handled his dismissal with class and we wish him well.

Thanks to Wally Hall of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for noting that the way Bielema was let go was "a shameful way to treat a coach." If the Razorback football program aspires to the big time, its administrators need to act like they belong there.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted with a name, telephone number and home address, for verification and contact purposes. This information is kept confidential.

Editorial on 12/06/2017

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