Thumbs up

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Teen pregnancy rate

The bad news is Lee County had the state’s 16th highest rate of teen pregnancy in 2012. The good news is the county was ranked seventh the previous year, meaning our teen pregnancy rate is trending downward.

Several local agencies are working on the issue, including LeeCAN, a Lee County Health Department initiative, as well as the Coalition for Families. Parents of teens, obviously, should be playing their own role, too.

Being 16th certainly is better than being seventh when it comes to this category. But with 100 counties in North Carolina, there’s certainly plenty of room for improvement. And it’s extremely important to improve. The potential consequences of teen pregnancy are troublesome.

The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign says, “children of teen parents are more likely to struggle in school, be incarcerated and become teen parents themselves.”

Let’s hope the latest numbers are a positive sign in Lee County moving away from the high rate of teen pregnancy.

THUMBS UP: Raleigh Executive Jetport

The Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford/Lee County is a shining star. Although there may be plenty who know little to nothing of the Jetport, its impact of service for our community is significant - and expected to grow.

Now, this jewel is even better: the runway has been repaved, giving it a greater weight capacity. Among other improvements will be the installation of LED lights and 28 additional T-hangers.

Airport Authority Chairman Carter Keller says of the airport, “It’s a great asset, and, for many, it’s our community’s front door.”

“It’s a great business tool,” says Jerry Pedley, former Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce president and pilot.

Both are absolutely right. This airport is a key piece of Lee County’s economic resources. We can be proud of such an outstanding facility.

THUMBS UP: Cooler weather

The last few days have brought cooler-than-normal fall weather, giving us a crisp prelude to Halloween (on Thursday), and with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, there’s no doubt winter is on its way.

So, why a thumbs up for cooler weather?

Cooler weather is an important part of the cycle of nature. And if our Creator had a reason for each season, then it must be a good thing.

However, with the cooler weather comes many concerns. Here are some cooler weather tips from the American Red Cross:

* Generators should be used correctly, and stoves and ovens should not be used to heat homes.

* Family pets should be brought inside or provided warm shelter.

* A space heater should be on a level, non-flammable surface and never left near pets or children.

* Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing instead of a single, heavy coat.

* Wear mittens and a hat, preferable one that covers the ears.

Prepare for the cooler weather, and the cold, in the right way.