Good news helps with the bad

Published 10:04 pm Monday, July 20, 2009

News outlets are often criticized—and, sometimes, rightly so—for covering only the bad news.

Despite the perception, no one enjoys writing about car wrecks, murders and the struggling economy. It simply has to be done. If we didn’t cover these stories, we wouldn’t be fulfilling our obligation as the information source for Chilton County.

But the news isn’t always bad, and we strive to also let our readers know about the positive things that happen in our area. These inspirational stories are just as important to the public well-being as knowing how many jobs were lost in the county the previous month.

This past Weekend’s edition covered both ends of the spectrum. The latest unemployment information was necessarily included in the newspaper, but we also had stories about two local men that have overcome obstacles to be recognized for their success.

The first was Plantersville farmer David Wright, who was recently named the 2009 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Alabama Farmer of the Year. Wright owns and operates Wright’s Nursery and Greenhouse and will now be judged against nine other farmers for the honor of being the competition’s overall winner.

The other feel-good story was Buddy Lawley, who received a high school diploma from Maplesville 66 years after he left school to join the Navy.

What makes Wright and Lawley special is the difficulty they overcame to make it to where they are now. Wright lost his right arm 43 years ago when it became caught in the drive shaft of a corn sheller. The accident resulted in Wright going to college and getting into the greenhouse business.

Lawley, a World War II veteran, was given his degree through a bill known as “Operation Recognition,” which grants degrees to veterans that meet certain criteria.

In a time when the job losses continue to mount and even those with jobs find it more difficult to get by each day, we would do well to look to people like Lawley and Wright, who have provided us with the assurance that we can accomplish anything as long as we have the will.