Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to Molly Lao of Fresno for being selected as a White House intern. Lao is a Sunnyside High School graduate and was the 2007 Boys & Girls Club California Youth of the Year. In May, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Thumbs up to Chris Collins, executive director of West African Vocational Schools, for his efforts to bring clean drinking water to residents of Guinea-Bissau. The nonprofit, which is based in Fresno and Seattle, provides education and micro-loans to start businesses in the African nation, which has 1.6 million residents. WAVS held a fund-raiser for its clean drinking water effort Friday night at Moravia Wines.

Thumbs up to Don Cheek, the ageless track and field wonder. Cheek, 83, is ranked No. 2 in the country in the 100 meters and No. 4 in the 200 meters in his age group. When he isn't training, Cheek teaches in Fresno State's Africana Studies Program. How does he remain swift and lean? No fast food or soda. Ever.

Thumbs down to John David Rivera. The former Biola general manager pleaded no contest this week to stealing from the community's utility district. A former police officer, Rivera embezzled more than $60,000, which he spent on two Ford Mustangs and a 3-D television, detectives said. He will be sentenced on Dec. 11, and he will have to make restitution to the Biola Community Services District.