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Editorial: Hearts & Darts

Hearts…to Charles Mitchell and his continued efforts to unite the community and put an end to the violence in the county.

Since 2013, Mitchell and the Concerned Citizens of Jasper County have spearheaded Stop the Violence rallies, and this year’s event promises three days of community involvement.

Friday there’s a teen summit at Kingdom Touch Ministries, which encourages youngsters and parents to get together to discuss the future and to hear the county youth’s concerns.

A Back to School giveaway and candlelight vigil is set for Saturday at Turpin Park in Ridgeland. The initative will also honor longtime youth advocates Anne Walker, Suzie Henderson and Russell Cannick.

The events conclude Sunday as Kingdom Touch Ministries hosts a community gathering.

The Stop the Violence movement has aimed to forge a change in mindset — violence is not the answer.

We look forward to a positive weekend of fellowship.

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Hearts….to the start of official football practices. The school year is just weeks away, but later this week our teams will be on the field honing their skills.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville High, Thomas Heyward Academy and John Paul II Catholic School look to be sharp in preparation for their first scrimmages in early August. We hope the teams are destined for successful seasons, and the journey begins Thursday and Friday.

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Darts…to the death of Harold Stanley, who was a volunteer firefighter for 52 years. Stanley was recognized for his tireless dedication last year when he was named co-grand marshal of the Gopher Hill Festival parade.

Stanley, 80, who worked for the state Department of Transportation, was known for his commitment to the Grays community and the county. He was still hustling to calls as of four months ago, Jasper County Fire Chief Wilbur Daley said.

“He was always pleasant and willing to help,” Daley said.

We didn’t know Stanley well, but we spent some time with him last year when he was named co-grand marshal. He was surprised by the recognition and graciously spoke to us about his experiences.

We remember Stanley being surrounded by his family, who posed with him for many pictures. The smile never left his face.

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