Thumbs Up: To Shipley Energy and the York County United Way for providing a free heating system to Beverly Beatty, 66, of York City.

Beatty had an aging system and didn’t have the $10,000 to replace it. Shipley was named the #1 HVAC provider by York County residents and chose to give back to the community.

“I just prayed every year (for the furnace) to get me through; I never prayed for a new one — I knew I never could afford a new one,” Beatty said.

United Way helped them identify a resident in need. Beatty was nominated by her sister.

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“I don’t know what I would’ve done without this,” Beatty said. “I thank everybody that was involved — United Way, Shipley Energy … my sister. I just was blessed. I thank you. I thank everybody.”

And while they were at it, they noticed that the water heater was in bad shape and replaced that too.

It's great when local companies show their appreciation by giving back to the community.

Thumbs Up: To Southern York County School District for finding a creative way to stem a shortage of substitute teachers.

It is adopting Act 86, which allows school districts to hire students as substitute teachers for the district, as long as they are enrolled in an accredited Pennsylvania college or university pursuing a teacher certification and in the post-60-credits phase of their coursework.

The school code bill was passed in July with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, formerly a state senator from Lancaster, championing the bill.

According to the state department of education, The number of students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs in education has decreased by 55 percent in the past 20 years.

Act 86 will provide excellent hands-on experience for those who are seeking their teaching degrees at the same time populating school’s substitute teacher rosters.

Thumbs up: To the Blue Line Plungers for their participation in the ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge, which supports Special Olympics York County.

The group is comprised of retired and current York County police officers, friends and family members. The group was nearly thirty-strong this year.

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Chief Bob Lehman, a retired officer from Spring Garden Township Police, and the team's captain this year, was happy with the turnout.

"I'm happy that there are quite a few younger guys here," he said.

The Blue Line Plungers raised $10,000 of the $80,000 raised at this year’s event.

Police dedicate themselves to public service on a daily basis. They deserve a pat on their chilly, water-soaked backs for taking their service a step above and beyond.

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