Thumbs up: It's beginning to look a lot like the season of giving for Lea McGee, executive director of the Henry F. Selcer Memorial Empty Stocking Fund, as the application process has begun for the holiday season. Through the Empty Stocking Fund, parents can apply for their children to receive Christmas presents they might not otherwise get. The program is in its 103rd year of providing Christmas gifts to children throughout the county. Each year in Harrison County, the fund assists about 300 children from ages 12 and under.

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Thumbs up: Marshall has long been associated with the arts, and this month three new exhibits have opened for residents, two at the Michelson Museum of Art and one at the Marshall Visual Art Center. We are lucky to have so many venues to view such enriching pieces of culture.

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Thumbs up: The Hallsville High School 1978 graduate turned vice president of Bear Creek Smokehouse in Marshall Robbie Shoults returned to his hometown school to speak to Hallsville High School students about preparing for life after graduation before being named the school's 2017 distinguished alumni. Congrats.

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Thumbs down: Like many in the area, we were deeply saddened upon learning that Pro Football Hall of Famer quarterback and Marshall's own, Yelberton Abraham (Y.A.) Tittle passed away late Sunday evening at Stanford Hospital in Stanford, California. He was just 16 days away from his 91st birthday. He will be missed and remembered.

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Thumbs up: Trinity Day School students took their classroom outdoors on Thursday as part of International Outdoor Classroom Day. The event, which saw some 2.3 million students worldwide learning outside with objects from nature, on Thursday promotes play, hands-on activities and nature through learning experiences for students.

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Thumbs down to the 40 positions that were eliminated by Cabot Norit Americas Inc. from its activated carbon plant in Marshall. The market drove the company to indefinitely idle three of seven active kilns.