Wednesday, April 23, 2014  
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Staff Writer

   With Christmas just around the corner, the GrenadaStar asked local folks: “In light of recent bad news, for what are you grateful this Christmas?”

Grateful life
   Melvin Brown of Grenada is thankful just to be living.
   “I hope everything gets better, with all the violence and nonsense” he said, referring to the shooting at Newtown, Conn., in which 27 people, including many children, lost their lives.
   Brown said he’s grateful to have a family to celebrate Christmas with and he’s looking forward to a big meal.

Undeterred merriment
   Sidney Valteau of Grenada is also saddened by recent events, he said. It’s a dark cloud that has dampened the holiday for many people.  
   Valteau is sad about the shooting, but he’s trying to remain merry for Christmas.
   “It’s just terrible, but I’m grateful to be here,” said Valteau as he walked down Main St. on a sunny afternoon. “I wish everybody a Merry Christmas,” he said.

Sympathetic mother
   Tanisha Bankston was brought to tears  by what she saw in the news.
   “I have two children myself, so of course I was concerned,” she said. “I’m just keeping those families in my prayers. There’s just so much going on, it’s hard to keep your focus on the holidays,” she said.
   Bankston is looking forward to a big meal at her mother-in-law’s house, she said.

Family togetherness
   It’s all about family for Ashley Owen.
   “I have three babies and a great husband to be thankful for,” she said. “We’re all healthy, and that’s a great blessing.”
   Her church family at Grenada Church of God is another blessing in her life, Owen said.

Season reason
   Ralph Armstrong summed up his gratitude in one word. “Jesus,” he said. “He could solve all our problems.”

Family and faith
   Charles Reyna expressed his gratitude in equally simple terms.
   “I’m grateful for family and for my relationship with God,” he said.

Healthy gratitude
   Hallie Robertson’s son will be 13 on Christmas Eve. She’s grateful for him, and for his brother and for their good health.
   “I’m grateful to the good Lord that we’re still on this earth,” said Robertson. “Jesus is the whole reason for the holiday, most people forget that.”

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