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Apr. 19, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Broadway Our Way

Downtown Broadway will be very much alive today with the sixth annual Broadway Our Way Festival.

Events were to begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with a street dance to begin at 7 p.m.

The festival has become a grand springtime tradition, one that is a treat for people of all ages.

Mayor Donald Andrews said of the Festival, “We hope everyone has a great time. That is why we started this six years ago. We wanted to celebrate our community and we wanted folks to come out (for a) family-oriented event.”

The good folks of Broadway, including the many volunteers, have created an event that brings joy to many.

In a world with so much hustle and bustle, it’s nice to be able to take time on a relaxing spring afternoon to enjoy ourselves and have some fun.

Thank you, Broadway.

THUMBS UP: City salute

The Sanford City Council this week took time at its meeting to salute three individuals who have contributed much to our community.

Former City Council Walter McNeil and former Lee County Commissioner Ed Paschal succumbed on March 30 and April 2, respectively. Both men gave devoted years of service to their respective positions and were saluted with resolutions from the council.

“We can never say thank you enough to the McNeil and Paschal families,” said Sanford Mayor Chet Mann.

Also saluted with a resolution was Sanford-Lee County Planning Director Bob Bridwell, who is retiring at the end of April.

His resolution read, in part: “Bridwell is known as an unfailing leader, mentor, community advocate and dedicated public servant who carries out his duties of his position in a conscientious and outstanding manner with a focus on excellent service to Sanford and Lee County and pride in doing things right the first time.”

No doubt, Bridwell’s good work in this community will be long remembered, as will the service of McNeil and Paschal.

THUMBS UP: Josh Mellette

Josh Mellette, a 2012 graduate of Southern Lee High School, was a standout on the prep level for the Cavaliers. But the basketball star has continued to win raves, most recently earning a spot as a first-team All-American in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Div. II ranks. The 6-foot-5 sophomore forward led the nation in rebounding (grabbing 12.3 per game) and was second in blocked shots (3.0 per game) for Wake Tech Community College. Along the way this season, he averaged 15.5 points per game.

Mellette also earned Region X Player of the Year honors in leading the Eagles to a regional championship and the team’s first NJCAA National Championship Tournament appearance. Wake Tech finished the season as one of the nation’s top five teams.

“We had a great basketball team this year, and Josh has been extraordinary,” Wake Tech Athletics Director Barry Street said.

Mellette will graduate from Wake Tech in May and is being recruited by several top universities — which means his collegiate accolades may just beginning.