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Originally published: 2014-01-10 11:38:08
Last modified: 2014-01-10 11:38:53

Our View: Battling the cold while battling a historic blaze

Thumbs-down: to the arctic-like weather conditions that fire responders were forced to endure as they battled a blaze engulfing Foscoe Christian Church on Monday, but a double thumbs-up to the firefighters who tackled the blaze in the early morning hours, and again later in the morning when the flame reignited. Foscoe firefighters were joined by crews from Boone and Linville and Watauga County Rescue Squad in the subzero temperatures.

Thumbs-up: to all the Special Olympians who celebrated the 36th annual Special Olympics North Carolina Alpine Games at Appalachian Ski Mountain during the past weekend. More than 100 athletes from two states joined in the games. Many members of our local law enforcement were also on hand for the festivities, including Boone police officer Jake Harkey -- a Special Olympics Team USA coach who participated in the world games in South Korea this past summer.

Thumbs-up: to doing the right thing -- giving blood. January is national blood donor month, and the American Red Cross has scheduled a monthlong list of donor sites and times in Watauga County. Visit

Thumbs-down: to a state agency that put at risk the personal information of tens of thousands of children across North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Health is working to correct the mistaken mailing of Medicaid cards for almost 50,000 children. No child will be left without medical services due to the mistake, but that is little balm to those who had their personal information sent to the wrong homes. Anyone with questions about the mistake can call (800) 662-7030.