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Vote now for Hometown Hero of 2012
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Correction: The winner will be announced May 1.

It’s time once again for Newton County to honor its Hometown Heroes, the residents who go above and beyond the call of duty to help out their fellow man, woman or child.

For the calendar year 2012, four local residents earned the title of Hometown Hero for their actions, showing extraordinary love, courage or compassion in the midst of normal, everyday life.

From jumping into a river to save a man’s life, agreeing to donate a kidney to a virtual stranger, adopting children in need of a good home to being an advocate for the homeless, the four finalists show the best of what it means to be human.

Now it’s up to you, the readers, to decide who will be the top Hometown Hero for 2012. If you go to, you can find pictures of all four heroes and links to their stories, as well as a link to our online voting poll. You can also click on the Hometown Heroes logo on the main page of the website. Pictures of the four finalists can also be found on page 4B of today’s paper.

The polls will be open until March 30, and the winner will be announced May 1.

The program first began in 2010, and General Mills quickly jumped on board as part of its efforts to support the local community.

Last year’s winner was Pam Dew, the long-time coordinator for Newton County Special Olympics, who, after retiring from that position, started another nonprofit aimed at adults with special needs.

At her award ceremony, The News’ general manager T. Pat Cavanaugh talked about the spirit behind the award.

“That’s the whole purpose of this award, to honor folks like yourself, Pam, that really attest to the value of hard work and go about doing their things,” Cavanaugh said. “A lot of people don’t recognize what they do, and they don’t ask for it. That’s what makes them even more special and that’s why we enjoy doing it. You’re a great recipient.”