Thumbs up and down

Dec. 16, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Aaron Mellette

The Sanford area has been blessed with a number of standout athletes over the years, including the likes of Herb Thomas and J.D. McDuffie, who raced on NASCAR’s stock car circuit; Richard Such, who played major league baseball and was a coach for Minnesota’s World Series-winning team; and Steve Jones, who starred at Duke University and played for the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals.

Aaron Mellette may well be the next in line.

The former Southern Lee athlete has made a name for himself on the gridiron while at Elon University, where the wide receiver finished his collegiate career with 304 receptions, 4,254 yards and 44 receiving touchdowns. Mellette’s honors are numerous, including multiple All-American designations. This week, he was named to the FCS All-American team by the Associated Press. That makes Mellette a three-time All-American.

Mellette’s talents and dedication to the sport could very well mean his playing days will move to Sundays beginning in the NFL next season. Regardless of whether he ends up in the NFL or another professional league, Mellette has represented Sanford well and distinguished himself all along the way. We look forward to the next steps in his career.

THUMBS DOWN: Flu season

No one enjoys the thought of being sick, much less going through the ordeal of the flu. Influenza can put an individual on the sidelines for an extended period of time, and, in some cases, even result in death.

While there are no assurances of avoiding the flu, one can lessen the chances by getting a flu shot.

But if you’re one of the unfortunate and find yourself coming down with the tell-tale symptoms of the flu, Sandra Boyd of the Lee County Health Department advises to visit a primary care doctor or the emergency room.

“If you have difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sudden dizziness, vomiting, you need to seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible,” she says.

That’s sound advice for keeping yourself and those around you as healthy as possible.

THUMBS UP: Some perspective on Dec. 21

The vast majority of scientists, Mayan calendar experts and scholars agree there’s precious little evidence to support the belief by some that the world will end on Dec. 21. Still, many folks are convinced. A Herald poll suggests the majority of those questioned think it’s all hogwash, but for every four “the world ending on Dec. 21 is crazy talk” responders, there’s one who says doomsday is coming later this week.

Friday’s tragic events in Newtown, Conn., don’t lend any credence to the idea that next Friday is Earth’s last day, but there’s no question the world is getting more and more insane. This is the season of love, but there’s far too little of it out there. It’s hard to think of hope and expectancy when there’s so much evil around us, but a good gift for this Christmas season is to do something to provide hope for someone near to you. You may never know how far a gift like that might go.