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EDITORIAL: Light amid the darkness

It was a difficult start to November.

The first snowstorm of the season packed a punch, as temperatures plunged into single digits and came with bitterly cold wind and an extra helping of snow. In addition to the frigid temperatures, it’s getting dark an hour earlier, thanks to the time change.

And if you turn on the news when you get home on these cold nights, you’ll find more darkness.

America suffered yet another mass shooting over the weekend. This time, the victims were gunned down while at church — a place that should be a safe refuge. Young children were among the 26 victims killed in Texas, and one family lost three generations within moments.

As violence and mass shootings plague our country, we know that something must be done to ensure people can worship, go to school or enjoy a concert without the fear of being shot down. But it’s going to take more than a newspaper editorial to solve the problems facing our divided and hurting country.

So during this cold, dark week, rather than focusing entirely on what’s wrong, we’d like to highlight some of the good things happening in our community:

• Three officers and a dispatcher with the Powell Police Department were recognized on Monday night for helping save the lives of local residents. Officers Chad Miner, David Ferguson and Kade Richmond and dispatcher Twyla Segura knew what to do in high-stress medical emergencies, and they acted quickly.

In three different cases, Powell officers performed CPR until ambulance crews arrived.

“Not one of these officers did what they did thinking they were going to get recognized for it,” said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt. “It was purely about preservation of life.”

We’re thankful for the dispatchers, police, EMTs and other emergency responders who ensure that whenever a 911 call comes in, someone is there to help.

• Sally Montoya is continuing to collect toys and other items for local kids in need, as she has for 68 years.

Along with her army of volunteers, Montoya has made the holiday season brighter for countless families in our community.

As the holidays approach, many of us focus on gift lists for our own families and friends — and it’s easy to forget about anyone else in the busy rush. But at 87 years old, Montoya still has an unwavering focus on helping those in need, and that’s what you’ll find her doing again this Christmas season. Her dedication and selflessness set an example for us all.

• Leading up to the Empty Bowls event next week, Northwest College students and alumni have created hundreds of handmade bowls. During the Tuesday evening fundraiser at The Commons, folks can choose their own unique bowl and have it filled with warm soup. All proceeds from the Empty Bowls event will go toward Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit that has worked tirelessly to provide food for those in need over the past 34 years.

It’s a rare event where a meal for your family provides a meal for someone else, too.

  Over the weekend, various churches and businesses came tog-ether for a winter coat give-away for locals in need of warmer gear.

It was just one of many ways that local churches, businesses, nonprofits and individuals give back to the community. On any given week throughout the year, you can find examples in Powell of people serving one another. Sometimes it comes in the form of a winter coat, a shoveled sidewalk, a warm cup of coffee or a friendly conversation.

Especially on cold and dark days, it’s important to look for these acts of kindness.

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