Thumbs up to the city of Florence for finally repairing the railroad crossing on Veterans Drive. The crossing, just west of Helton Drive in east Florence, has been the bain of motorists for too many years. Except for the rough, car-jolting railroad tracks, Veterans Drive is a smooth and modern four-lane street. Drivers and passengers should welcome the smoother crossing and the fact they no longer have to slow to a crawl to protect their tires and car.
Thumbs up the Tennessee Valley Authority for using more cleaner-burning natural gas as fuel rather than coal. While the Shoals depends on the jobs and energy produced at a coal-fired power plant, it also has experienced the effects of more pollution as a result. Having the option to burn either coal or natural gas at facilities like the Colbert Steam Plant would allow TVA to take advantage of price swings in the two fuels and reduce the dependence on coal.
Thumbs down to former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for his attempts to elicit sympathy at his court sentencing last week. Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing several boys and bringing shame to his college and coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky delivered a bizarre, rambling speech at his sentencing. Judge John Cleland was not swayed, calling Sandusky dangerous, and saying, "You abused the trust of those who trusted you."
Thumbs up to the University of North Alabama for responding to safety concerns voiced by students after several recent incidents of crime.UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula said the university will find the money to install 65-70 surveillance cameras. He also encourages students to use campus safety programs, such as Student Nighttime Assisted Patrol. Students who use the program are escorted to a car or building by two other students. Students also say they want better lighting in a parking deck that has been the site of crimes.