Local support helped save lives in Togo

I wish to thank so many of you for your kind thoughts and prayers while I traveled to Togo, Africa, twice this year to provide urgent surgical care to the Togolese people with Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse.

The death of the surgeon in Togo last year from the Lassa Fever outbreak was a blow to these people. Only with your thoughts and prayers was I able to safely provide the urgent surgical care so desperately needed to hundreds of people living in shear poverty.

My wife and I are tremendously appreciative along with the loving appreciation by the Togolese people for the wonderful support and kindness that so many of you have given to us. We thank all of you deeply.

Dr. Edward Picardi

Sturgis

Everyone needs to fight racism

The Trump campaign and presidency have given enough signals to right wing extreme groups that they feel their views have credence. These groups feel it’s OK to come out from the dark.

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Hate groups have increased over the past few years. I believe most were formed during the end of the Obama administration. Is it because white America was tired of his policies? I tell you what, I've heard many comments like that and much worse in our part of the country. You don't agree? Think about the last eight years. How many times have you heard or said a racial joke, or looked at a text on someone’s phone with demeaning attacks with racial comments? You hear them in the workplace, bars and schools.

So, when I look at the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I'm not surprised but very disappointed. Not just at those bad actors, our leaders (including Trump), but at myself. How many times have I had the chance to express my displeasure with someone over their hate-filled comments? Maybe the starting point is with us. Take a look in the mirror. Are you part of the problem?

Kent Hersey

Hill City

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