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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Jan. 24

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Local elected politicians listened at town hall

State Rep. Daniel Elliott and state Sen. Rick Girdler made themselves available to constituents during a town hall meeting for close to two hours last week.

This wasn’t a prefabricated event designed to make Elliott or Girdler look good and it wasn’t a superficial appearance filled with fluff — there were plenty of people in the audience who clearly disagreed with their representatives on many issues and many difficult questions were posed.

In the end, it’s unlikely that a couple hours of discussion at the library caused Elliott or Girdler — or any of the audience members — to change their minds. But changing people’s minds is not the goal of such meetings.

In this political time, as many politicians — especially at higher levels of government — distance themselves from tough questions and try to play games of propaganda instead of facing those who disagree with them, Elliott and Girdler should be commended for meeting with their constituents and giving a fair hearing to what they have to say.

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Advocate wins six times at KPA awards banquet

Friday night was the annual Kentucky Press Association’s awards banquet, which was attended by hundreds of the state’s best and brightest journalists.

The Advocate-Messenger won six awards, including three first places. Bobbie Curd won for Best Feature Story; Clay Jackson won for Best Picture Essay; and Todd Kleffman won for Best Business or Agribusiness Story.

Editor Emeritus John Nelson was also among the paper’s winners, taking home second place for Best Column.

It’s always nice to get recognition of a job well done, but more importantly, these awards speak to our goal at The Advocate-Messenger: to give our readers the news they deserve. That means our news coverage should be both local and of high quality, just like the community this newspaper lives in.

All the awards we won were for stories about and photos of local people. That’s our bread and butter and that local perspective is what we will always be proud of — more than any award.

So thanks to Bobbie, Clay, Todd, John, our sports department (who won second for best special section) and all the supporting copy-editors who worked hard to make a paper worth reading. And thanks to you, our readers — we literally couldn’t have done it without you.

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Civic participation from local people

We featured the stories of quite a few local people on Saturday who were participating in the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington, D.C. and satellite marches around the nation.

We’re also talking to people as they return who attended the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

It would seem whatever people’s passions or political leanings, in the Danville area, we have healthy participation in and awareness of our government and nation.

Such a tendency for involvement was already apparent locally — Danville City Commission meetings are always among the best attended by constituents in the Bluegrass, perhaps in the state.

Our level of participation is something to be proud of and something we should cherish.

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Danville restaurants earn appearance on TV show

Downtown Danville restaurants Cue and Nellie Burton’s Steakhouse had a camera crew visit last week as the TV show “Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs” prepares to feature the duo of eateries in an upcoming episode.

Anyone who lives in Danville or has visited downtown Danville knows we have an idyllic Main Street with lots of great places to eat and shop. It’s nice to see some of Danville’s great locations getting some recognition.