Our View: Journey goes on for hundreds of new graduates
Thumbs-up: to justice well-served. A 50-year prison term won't replace the $40 million that West Jefferson resident Keith Franklin Simmons stole from hundreds of investors nationwide — and it's even less likely that any of those investors will ever see more than pennies on the dollar of the $35.3 million in restitution he's ordered to pay — but the announcement from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of N.C. Anne Tompkins brings the case to a “successful conclusion,” to echo the words of Chris Briese, special agent in charge of FBI Charlotte. It took almost three years after his arrest date, but a stern message has been sent to those who would be perpetrators of financial crimes in North Carolina.
Thumbs-up: to Katie Matthews, the Valle Crucis educator named Watauga County teacher of the year for 2012-13. “It's just such an honor,” the first-grade teacher said upon learning of the award. After sharing her teaching expertise of 15 years and three school systems with the county, that honor works both ways.
Thumbs-up: to a Boone native who made it to Mars. Appalachian State University student Joshua Kelley has been tapped to spend his summer at Kennedy Space Center through a grant from N.C. Space Grant Consortium. Kelley will join other grant winners from ASU, and his award will allow study of Martian dust at the space center.