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Thumbs Up: To Rose Arbittier, the Dallastown graduate headed to Mobile, Alabama this weekend to compete in the Distinguished Young Women (DYW) competition later this month.

Having won both York County and Pennsylvania's titles for the program last year, she will now compete against 50 young women, one from each state and the District of Columbia, in the 59th national finals.

The girls compete in the same categories at all levels: scholastic, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression. The scholastic and interview portions of the competition are not done on stage. For the self-expression portion of the competition, the girls write and memorize a short speech responding to a question.

The fitness portion of the competition is about being as healthy as you can be, Rose told Dispatch education reporter Alyssa Jackson. She is also singing a song, “When I Have Sung My Songs,” in memory of her grandmother, who recently died.

York County's Distinguished Young Women chapter has existed 51 years. Nine times in the past, York's DYW program has sent students to compete nationally; one of them was a first runner-up.

It is not a beauty pageant but a scholarship program designed to help young women with future job and collegiate endeavors. Girls are accepted based on their academic transcripts, community service and leadership that they've displayed.

Rose is off to Princeton University in the fall to study public policy with a concentration in nonprofit management.

It’s clear that no matter the final outcome of the competition, this accomplished young woman will always be a winner.

Thumbs Up:  And a fond farewell to former York College professor and well-known researcher David Polk, whose quiet competence, humility and research acumen will be his public legacy.

Polk was known throughout the county for his research work and efforts to improve the community. He was slated to be named president of the Rotary Club of York this year to mark the group's 100th anniversary.

He had to turn down the offer because of a brain tumor. Polk, of North Codorus Township, died Saturday. He was 68.

Those who remembered him this week, called Polk “quietly accomplished.”

A remembrance for Polk will be held in York College's Charles Wolf Gymnasium in the Grumbacher Center, 441 Country Club Road, on Friday.

A visitation will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 4 p.m., according to his obituary.

Thumbs Up: To the significant investment being made to improve a section of the county’s Rail Trail. The final piece of funding for improvements to a section of the county's Rail Trail was secured Wednesday, June 1, when commissioners agreed to contribute $55,000.

The money being kicked in by the county comes from its portion of Marcellus Shale Legacy funds, money paid to the state by natural gas drillers and earmarked for certain recreational projects. Commissioners approved the allocation at their weekly meeting.

The project will improve a section of the Heritage Rail Trail from the Colonial Court House in York City to Grantley Road in Spring Garden Township. The plan calls for lighting improvements and resurfacing that section of the trail.

The $915,000 cost for the project came in under budget and is being paid for mainly through grants and private donations.

We are happy to see the county benefiting from a portion of the money set aside to address the impact of gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

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