Dumping problems

Thumbs down to the people who have been abandoning their boats at boat ramp sites in Lauderdale County.

According to Tom Smith, manager of the Lauderdale County Solid Waste Department, two fishing boats dumped recently were stripped of their motors and left near trash bins, but that still constitutes illegal dumping.

He said in a story last week that he finds this issue perplexing because residents can use the landfill at no cost once a month by presenting their electric bill.

He said since the dumping required the county to send a boom truck to haul the boats to the landfill, it comes at a cost to law-abiding taxpayers. Not only that, it’s just plain ugly to look at.

Anyone who is prosecuted for illegally dumping in Lauderdale and Colbert counties can be fined. If this trend continues, it could be time to make an example of a guilty party.

Helping out

Last week, several Shoals firefighters went to Attalla to help fight a fire at the Gadsden Warehousing facility that had been burning for more than 24 hours.

The firefighters were there to relieve local firefighting teams.

“The local firefighters were mainly swapping placed with other firefighters at the scene so they could get some rest,” Colbert EMA Director Michael David Smith said in a story last week. “We offered to put another crew together to assist on Wednesday but we didn’t hear from officials in Attalla. I know they’d do the same for us.”

Helping other departments in need is not all that unusual, and Muscle Shoals Fire Chief Shawn Malone said in the story that the Shoals area has always provided mutual aid when necessary.

That’s something worth recognizing.

Feeding students

The University of North Alabama has joined the Alabama Campus Coalition to address the growing issue of student hunger.

The coalition, which began at Auburn University, also includes UNA, Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, the University of Alabama, Jacksonville State University, Troy University, Tuskegee University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama.

UNA Case Manager Holly Underwood said is a story last week that UNA has seen a steady increase in the number of students struggling with food insecurity. That often leads to other struggles both on and off campus.

“Food insecurity impacts a student’s ability to focus in the classroom and to complete requirements for class,” she said. “Students can become increasingly worried and consumed by efforts to secure basic needs on a daily basis. Our ability to provide resources for food and other basic needs ensures that our students are given the full college experience, and the ability to be successful both in and out of the classroom.”

We applaud the university for recognizing the issue and taking steps to address it.

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