Thumbs-up: to another encouraging sign of normalcy. Appalachian State University has announced that spring graduates will be able to receive their diploma in-person with a limited number of guests allowed. Physical distancing and mask wearing will be in effect and the ceremonies will take place during five days in May. Alternate plans will be in effect should pandemic numbers trend upward before those dates.

Thumbs-up: to those who need just a bit more time. Unlike the more extensive filing deadline of 2020, the IRS is still extending filing and payments until May 17 this year without penalties or interest additions. No extension form is required unless you need more time beyond the May deadline. Those who are owed refunds, of course, are encouraged to file as early as possible.

Thumbs-down: to a tragic fire that destroyed a community landmark. The Todd General Store was born by the timber industry boon of the early 20th century, and it’s been a meeting place ever since. The fire on Feb. 25 ended that 107-year run, but plans are in place to resurrect the business.

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