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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Mara Kuhn - Melinda Gassaway has her picture made on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.

The temperatures they are a-rising here in Hot Springs.

Summer officially begins on June 21, but when asked how it feels outside, most of us would answer in chorus-like fashion, "Hot."

In our Southern mothers' time, ladies of the day would note that warmer days made them feel "close" or "sticky."

There are numerous synonyms for "hot," but two of my favorites are "sultry" and "sweltering." Hopefully, we resort city denizens can enjoy this season's many fun activities and our climate won't turn "torrid," "boiling," "blazing" or "scorching."

Meanwhile, here are some of the digit doings that have recently come to this writer's attention.

First off, here is a big "Thumbs-up" to First Step Inc. paraprofessional Mechell Thaxton, the first recipient of the Sally Chaput Super Strong Mom Award that recognizes hardworking, single mothers in Hot Springs. The award was inspired by Sally Chaput, whose daughter, Schroeder, helped present it to Thaxton, mother of two children younger than 2 years. She was selected from 11 other nominees for the award.

Chaput describes her daughter as "a special child" and Schroeder says she plans to grow the award's annual prize package and "hopes it will be a blessing to the mothers and their families."

Here is a "Thumbs-up" to Langston Magnet School third-grader Carsen Titsworth, who received an award in the Kroger Delta Division 2018 Black History Month Essay Contest that had as its theme, "The Dream: Past, Present & Future."

Students in grades 3-12 from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee schools submitted 214 essays and poems, but Titsworth, who placed second in his division with the essay, "How the Civil Rights Movement Has Shaped My Life," was the only winner from Arkansas.

Congratulations to Carsen and his teachers.

By the same token, congratulations and "Thumbs-up" to Lakeside High School senior Rayshaun McNary, whose art piece has been selected by Turin, Italy, artist Giuseppe Percivati, creator of the Quapaw Indian and Garvan Woodland Gardens murals in downtown Hot Springs, for the latter's work on a wall of the Webb Community Center.

McNary recently told the hometown newspaper that he believes his pop art and grunge style artwork can "help bring down racism" and work toward peace.

On the other hand, a concerned motorist gives a "Thumbs-down" to drivers who pass 18-wheelers or semi-trucks on the left as these vehicles are making a left turn from the outside lane.

In a recent email, the resort city resident wrote, "This is a frequent occurrence as trucks exit the King Expressway at Airport Road and head west toward the lake. The trucks have to stop mid-turn to keep their trailers from running over these cars since the trailers cut across the inside lane during the turning process. "Wait the 2-3 seconds it takes for the truck to complete its turn and then proceed.

"While on the topic of cars at lights, stay far enough back that you can still read the license plate on the vehicle ahead of you. You will not be crowding it, but still be close enough so as not to cause another tie-up by stretching out the line so far that it impedes other traffic at nearby turning lanes, entrances to driveways, etc.

"In other words, just drive thoughtfully."

And here's a cheer and double "Thumbs-up" to the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts for recently bringing home its sixth straight school title in the Southwest Energy Arkansas Science and Engineering Fair.

In the process, ASMSA set a record for the number of students qualified to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering fair.

The school took first place in the Best School category at the state science fair held March 30-31 on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas at Conway.

Best wishes to the school's individual winners and many thanks to the faculty members and staff who support them.

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 05/16/2018

Print Headline: Thumbs column

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