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Too thankful for a jeer this week

We're too busy feeling thankful this week to muster up a jeer, so here are some holiday cheers:

Cheers — to the intrepid Rogue Valley Sewer Services workers who kept sifting until they found Pat Hanson's ring that had been accidentally flushed down a toilet in a Central Point Church. Hanson had asked for their help after her mother's 1920 wedding ring slipped from her finger in the bathroom at Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church last Sunday. The workers' first attempt on Monday with a closed-circuit remote TV camera failed to find the ring, so they came back Tuesday and kept looking, blocking the line so they could inspect it when it was dry. This reportedly involved some vacuuming and a process described as similar to panning for gold. Whatever it was, we'd call it above and beyond the call.

Cheers — to community members and businesses who donated time and materials to brighten the homecoming of Alex Shepherd of Ashland, who returned Tuesday from his latest round of cancer treatments. Alex, 12, suffers from anaplastic astrocytoma, an aggressive brain cancer. His home was decorated with a professional holiday light installation courtesy of Brotherhood Painting. The Southern Oregon University Chamber Choir sang carols. Family friend Kimberly Bruhn of Ashland organized the festivities. Holiday blessings to all who helped make it happen.

Cheers — to Ashland's firefighters, who served their sixth annual Thanksgiving dinner Monday to residents of the Ashland Senior Center. The firefighters prepare the meal and serve those in attendance. Fire Chief John Karns brought the idea with him from his previous job, and the Ashland seniors have embraced it wholeheartedly.

Cheers — to Medford Police officer Ernie Whiteman Sr., who retired Wednesday after 17 years as the school resource officer at North Medford High School. Whiteman, the department's longest-serving school resource officer, took the job as a three-year assignment after 10 years as a patrol officer, but stuck with it because he saw the value of interacting with students on a daily basis. Many current and former North students praised Whiteman's job performance and described the positive effect he had on their lives. In retirement, he plans to work training and mentoring school resource officers nationwide. Hats off to his example.