Thumbs up to Mt. Juliet native and NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore, who will join the next crew to launch to the International Space Station. Wilmore, along with cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), will launch to the ISS Sept. 25 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft. During the six-month mission, Wilmore, Serova and Samokutyaev will serve as flight engineers for the ISS Expedition 41 until November, at which time Wilmore will assume command of Expedition 42. They are scheduled to return to Earth in March 2015.
Thumbs up to the workers and volunteers at New Leash on Life for taking in some of the 132 rescued dogs from a Virginia puppy mill July 3.
Thumbs up to the 124 candidates who will appear on the Aug. 7 ballot each vying for local, state and federal offices. Early voting in Wilson County begins Friday and runs through Aug. 2.
Thumbs up to Friendship Christian School teacher and coach Greg Armstrong, who just completed a 314-mile journey from southeast Missouri to the northwest tip of Georgia – by foot – in three days, 17 hours, 50 minutes and 52 seconds to win the Last Annual Vol State 500K which ended in the wee hours Monday in Castle Rock, Ga. His run, which began in Dorena Landing, Mo., along the Mississippi River across from Kentucky, was the third fastest in the history of the event. In fact, he is only the third runner to finish in less than four days, which he said was his goal.
Thumbs up to Mark Purvis, who returns as Mt. Juliet High School’s baseball coach after a two-year hiatus.