Thumbs-up: to the young artists at Bethel School whose work will be displayed in the form of two dozen ornaments that will adorn a North Carolina Christmas tree — one of 56 from across the nation and U.S. territories — to be displayed outside of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Thumbs-up: to paying attention to the speedometer with new and significant changes to a portion of N.C. 194 heading to and fro from Boone toward Meat Camp. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has wisely reduced the curves and straightaways just south of Ray Brown Road to a 35 mph zone. The change comes after five years of study noting a proliferation of accidents on the two-mile stretch.

Thumbs-up: to sixth-grader Clara Lappan from Hardin Park on winning the Watauga County Schools spelling bee. With texting and other short forms of communication overtaking conventional formats, the art of correct spelling is certainly something to be applauded.

Thumbs-up: to honesty and sharing the message. Dana Bowman, author of the nationally recognized and well-received “Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery,” will speak in Boone on Oct. 29 at Boone United Methodist Church. A meet-and-greet begins at 4: 30 p.m.; copies of the memoir are available at your favorite Appalachian Regional Library branch, and several copies are available throughout the community via read-and-share.

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