Thumbs up to Florence School District Three. The board of the district in the Lake City area approved the recommendation of Superintendent Laura Hickson to make up six of the eight schools days that students missed earlier this month before and after Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in the Pee Dee. Three of those makeup days are weather days that already are built into the school calendar. That’s a no-brainer. But local school boards have the power to waive as many as three days. We’ll really be impressed if a school board in the Pee Dee insists that all of the days need to be made up, but we won’t hold our breath. The fact that the District Three trustees didn’t waive the maximum number of days is impressive enough. We like what we’re hearing from Hickson and the board chairman. “We know the importance of having our children in school,” Hickson said. “This proposal focuses on the needs of students, which is why we exist.” The days will be made up on Nov. 21-22, Dec. 21, Jan. 2, Feb. 10 and April 17, which means students will be caught up before state standardized testing begins. “We can’t afford to lose eight days of instruction,” said Lane N. Floyd, board chairman. “This board is committed to one group of people – our students – and our students need to be in school. I applaud Ms. Hickson for finding a way to make up those instructional days lost.” Now let’s see what the other districts do. Will any boards insist on seven makeup days? How about eight? Let’s hope schools don’t have to close this winter because of ice or snow.

Thumbs down to people who are grumbling already about public works departments in cities and counties in the Pee Dee. These people are putting in long days and weeks to help clean up the mess that Hurricane Matthew left behind, but no matter how great the efforts are, critics want to bash governments. Do you know what it would take to clean up faster? More people and more equipment. Do you know what it would take to get more people and more equipment? Higher taxes. Let’s be grateful for the work that already has been done. Frankly, it’s amazing how much of the mess already has been cleaned up in only two weeks. But get real. Debris on roadsides is going to be there not just for days but weeks and maybe even a couple of months. People who lack patience can hire a private group to haul the debris away.

Thumbs up to people who recognize that the workers who are involved in our storm recovery are people themselves. That is, most of these workers lost power, too. Many of them suffered storm damage. Robert Kudelka, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Transportation in Columbia, called the Morning News on Friday to brag about 30 SCDOT employees who live and work in the Pee Dee. “They haven’t missed a shift,” he said. “Some of them have large holes in their houses. One guy is living in a tent. A couple of them are living in a hotel.” One worker heard that his pickup truck was on fire at home when he got a call from a neighbor. “He said, ‘OK, I’ll be there in two hours, when my shift ends.”

Thumbs up to the Steps for Strength Walk/Run. The event is part of Carolinas Hospital System’s Healthy Woman initiative. The walk/run will start at 8 a.m. today in the parking lot of St. John’s Church at 252 S. Dargan St. in downtown Florence. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. The cost to register today is $20. Participants will receive a free T-shirt. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Pink will be the prevailing color. The event will raise breast cancer awareness during a month that is set aside for this cause. If you’re reading this at home, you have our permission to put the newspaper down and rush downtown to run or walk. Of course, we expect you to pick the paper back up later.

Thumbs up to all other events and organizations that are raising awareness for breast cancer. Don’t miss the Monday edition of the Morning News. It will be our annual “Pink Paper.” We call it that because some of the pages will be printed on pink paper. Unless another Hurricane hits us, you can expect to see front-page stories on a nurse whose family has been touched by breast cancer, a man who is battling the disease and a lung and breast nurse navigator at Carolinas Hospital System. A radiologist at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville will share his insight. In our Health & Wellness section, you can read about McLeod’s mobile mammography unit. You also can read a column by a McLeod Cancer Rehabilitation coordinator about rehabilitation for cancer survivors.

Thumbs up, thumbs down is a regular feature of the Morning News and appears each Saturday on our Opinion page. We seek nominations for both good and bad deeds from our readers. Send nominations to us by email at letters@florencenews.com. Be sure use the word “thumb” in the subject and include a contact number. Thumbs can also be mailed to us c/o The Morning News, 310 S. Dargan St., Florence, S.C., 29506.

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