HUGS go to ... the Denton Municipal Electric linemen who headed to Florida this week to help East Coast communities recover from Hurricane Dorian. Many municipal power agencies cooperate to speed recovery after a storm, and DME has always been at the forefront in offering assistance whenever needed. Judging from the harrowing stories and footage now emerging in Dorian’s wake, particularly in the Bahamas, the need for help could indeed be substantial.

SHRUGS go to ... the belief that probation and a fine are adequate punishment in connection with a group rape. This week, the fourth and final young man pleaded guilty for his part in the alleged 2017 rape of a 15-year-old. All four men agreed to plea deals on lesser charges of enticing a child and were ordered to pay $1,000 fines and serve 10 years’ probation. We know these deals were brokered in an effort to avoid a drawn-out and emotional trial process for the young victim, but if the accused were complicit in the crime of rape — they did all plead guilty to a felony charge — the punishment simply does not fit the crime. Two of the accused were star high school athletes and lost opportunities to play football at the college level after their arrests, but we agree with the sentiment shared in court by the victim’s mother: “What you’re feeling is only a fraction of what [my daughter] has gone through.”

HUGS go to ... to Guyer High School student Rachel Weidman and other high school student volunteers who are helping others learn in the Homework Buddies program at the North and South Branch libraries. The tutoring is provided to students in grades K-12 on a walk-in basis, with the buddies available at North Branch Library on most Tuesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. and most Wednesdays at South Branch Library from 5-6:30 p.m.

HUGS go to ... the crew at Denton Main Street preparing for Arts & Autos Extravaganza, an annual free street fair around the Square. The event highlighting art and a car, truck and motorcycle show will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14 in downtown Denton.

HUGS go to ... Guyer junior Gabi Placke for committing to play soccer at Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday. Placke earned honorable mention in District 5-6A last season and helped the Lady Wildcats to a 19-4-1 record, including a trip to the second round of the playoffs. Placke is described by Guyer coach Mandy Hall as being one of the hardest-working players on the team.

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