...Well, it’s that time of year again. The Messenger staff is once again gearing up for our annual “Who’s Who In Greene County,” which will be published in one of the biggest issues of the year. The special publication, called “Progress,” will hit the newsstands in the spring.

This special issue has been a long-running tradition for the Messenger, going back to the days of the paper’s infancy. Before it was called “Progress,” it was originally known as “Pride and Progress” and then later changed to “Get To Know You.” The name may have changed, but the purpose of this issue always remained the same: To shine a spotlight on the many businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals that proudly call Greene County home.

More information about this special edition will be forthcoming, but I can tell you that this special issue will once again spotlight many area businesses, agencies and individuals and will provide information pertaining to many different aspects of all the communities throughout the county.

The edition has truly become a tradition in Greene, one that has allowed us to take an intimate look at the people, places and events that have impacted our lives over the years.

Our 2018 edition will proudly continue the tradition of spotlighting our local folks, organizations and businesses … But this year we’re continuing another tradition that started in our “GTKY/Progress” issue in 2009, a much-talked about feature titled “Who’s Who in Greene County.”

The “Who’s Who” feature shines spotlights on people from Greene County who we feel are influential and/or contributed positively in some way to their respective communities during the year. The people who make our list came from different backgrounds and vocations, from law enforcement to business, and from government to education.

This year’s official “Who’s Who” will once again feature 20 honorees, and we are getting ready to begin the process of compiling the list. We thank those who have taken the time in the past to suggest some folks who they feel should be honored on previous lists, and we encourage everyone to do so again this year.

We take great pride in compiling this special feature year after year because, quite honestly, we spend a great deal of time and care putting it together. To be sure, the task of putting together this list continues to be a challenge each year; believe me, it isn’t easy for us to narrow the list down to 20, because we know there are plenty of people deserving to be on the list.

What makes us most proud about the list each year is that it shines well-deserved spotlights on people who have selflessly volunteered their time and service to helping others. From concerned citizens, service providers and community philanthropists to students, educators and others who helped their fellow man, served as role models or helped improve Greene County, the “Who’s Who” Class each year is comprised of local folks who are beacons of inspiration to those who live, work and raise families in this area.

Many of the people on the list each year may be quite different from one another, but we strongly feel that they all share one common interest: They are a group of people who we feel are definitely influential in their own way in Greene County.

So, as we continue to offer annual installments of “Who’s Who” in the future, we can’t wait to see the many different people who make the list. (Don’t worry, you will be seeing many new faces on the list each year.)

So, we hope that you find “Who’s Who in Greene County 2018” to be interesting reading … and at the very least, we hope that we might inspire local folks to do whatever they can to ensure that they make our “Who’s Who” list in future years to come.

If you know a community resident who deserves the honor, then feel free to email us your suggestions. When you send a name, please provide the person’s full name, age, title, and detailed info as to why you feel that person should be on our list.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 724-852-2251 or send us an email. Our contact info can be found in the helpful information box below...

…I want to wrap up this column by expressing my gratitude for the many folks who responded to my column last week (titled “Just the facts, ma’am”), by posting comments and sharing the link on our Facebook page, by emailing us or calling our office, and by stopping me on the street to talk about it.

Honestly, the response overwhelmed me, because apparently there are many people who feel the same as I do and are fed up with people presiding over what one person referred to as “Facebook Court.” It’s in reference to when people post negative comments, oftentimes derailing the original post with hate-filled (usually misguided) thoughts and opinions, and somehow try to convince others that what they are saying is fact.

It’s really gotten to the point that I feel somewhat sorry for many people out there who apparently have nothing better to do than attack others, even when those attacks have nothing to do with the original post.

This happened very recently (again) when someone posted a photo of police cars in a parking lot and simply inquired if anyone knew what was going on. It didn’t take long for the thread to derail, as comments were quickly posted about hatred towards our law enforcement officers and court judges, which prompted others to attack the “haters.” This continued onward, in a spiral that trudged downward, until finally certain posts and posters were deleted and people desperately tried to get the thread back on track.

Dozens and dozens of comments later, the original question was never answered. But you can be assured that in those many comments, there were obscenities, threats, accusations without facts and so much more negativity.

Hear ye, hear ye, “Facebook Court” was once again in session. And I’m sure I speak for so many when I encourage those who participate in the negativity to not rise, but rather, sit down and shut up.

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