As we all sit back and take a deep breath now that the primary election is over, it's nice to be able to think about some of the good things that have been happening in Elkhart County recently:
* NorthWood's science and fine arts Academic Super Bowl teams took top honors in the Class 2 state championships last weekend at Purdue University. The English and social studies teams took second place. Other Elkhart County schools also placed in their respective team competitions. The students who participate in these academic competitions put much time and effort into preparing for them, in nearly the same way as an athlete prepares for the big game. We're proud of all of them.
* The same can be said for Goshen High School's band, choir and orchestra, which all placed in the top 10 in the Indiana State School Music Association finals last weekend.
* Three outstanding high school seniors were awarded National Merit Scholarships earlier this month. Sarah Reecer of Memorial, Ben Toews of Northridge and Diana Stutzman of Trinity School at Greenlawn, all were given $2,500 scholarships.
* Goshen College is beginning two master's degree programs for the next school year -- one in environmental education and another in nursing, expanding the college's reach beyond its traditional four-year degree programs.
* Richard Longcor was recently given a Distinguished Hoosier Award by Gov. Mitch Daniels. Longcor has been very involved in the community, serving for 50 years with the Benton Township Fire Department, more than 32 years as Benton Township trustee, as a member of the Fairfield school board, Goshen hospital and Brenneman Mennonite Church boards, and as a volunteer blood donor and Katrina relief worker. That's true community dedication.
* The Michiana community mourned South Bend police Cpl. Nick Polizzotto, who was killed in the line of duty April 24. It's in the toughest times that we often find out how this community can pull together.
* Ginger Darwin was given the Elkhart Lions Club Citizenship Award recently. Darwin, a cancer survivor, is a tireless advocate for cancer research funding on the state and national levels.
There's a lot to be excited about in Elkhart County. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.