Thumbs up: Mary Fuhrman has a bond with the soldiers who fought with her son James with the elite 3rd Force Recon Marine unit in Vietnam.

After all, they were with him when he was killed in 1970.

Since his death, she has kept in touch with the men in his unit. She would attend their annual reunion and was looked upon by the group as “Mother Fuhrman.”

"It makes me feel closer to him, and I know he would want me to look out for them and be kind to them," Mary said.

This year’s reunion was scheduled to be in Florida, but at age 95, Mary told the men she couldn’t travel that distance.

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That’s when the men, as a unit, made the decision to hold the reunion in York so Mary could attend.

It was a classy move by the men who have a shared affection for their comrade’s mother.

And one that made Mary Fuhrman very happy.

Thumbs up: Some would classify it as ugly, some would call it beautiful and some would say “What’s that?”

The eastern hellbender, if you haven’t heard, is the largest salamander in North America.

It’s an amazing creature in that it is “nature’s own testing kit for good water quality” according to state Sen. Gene Yaw, who is chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission,

It’s an aquatic "canary in the coal mine," and its numbers are dropping. The International Union for Conservation of Nature rates its existence as "near threatened."

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Leadership Council helped draft proposed legislation to make the species the official state amphibian and bring attention to its plight.

Council President Anna Pauletta, a student at Cumberland Valley High School,  said the council wanted to “speak up for something that doesn’t necessarily have a voice and making (an) impact on their survivorship through legislation.”

That’s pretty nice work by a student organization: protecting an important species, uniting lawmakers and drawing attention to water quality in the state.

Thumbs up: To organizers of the 44th annual Street Rods National East for again choosing York County for their event.

This marks the 37th year our area has hosted the thousands of brightly colored and unique cars, as well as the many more thousands of visitors who come to see them.

The York County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the three-day show at the York Expo Center will drive nearly $13 million in economic benefits to the county.

This year’s festivities kick off at noon Friday with the street rod parade, which will depart from the Market Street gate and follow Market Street east through downtown York and end at Broad Street.

All activities are open to the public, and the show runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 12 years old and free for children 5 and younger.

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