Darts and laurels
Laurels to the Rev. Billy Graham, who celebrated his 95th birthday this week with a celebrity-studded party at an Asheville hotel. It’s impossible to describe the reach of the North Carolina native’s evangelical ministry over the decades. Suffice to say he’s truly a living legend. His religious impact has extended from paupers to presidents, from backwater congregations in the rural South to stadiums filled with tens of thousands of worshippers around the world. His birthday guest list was extensive, with 800 people invited, including Gov. Pat McCrory, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, who posted this comment on Facebook: “The entire Graham family has had such a positive influence on our nation and the world. God bless them!” Read more about Billy Graham’s remarkable life in today’s Faith section.
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Dart to an unexplained increase in violent deaths last year among some North Carolina youngsters. The increase, reported this week by the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force, involved deaths of 10- to 14-year-olds from auto crashes, homicides and suicide. Child safety experts said there’s no single factor or pattern responsible for the increase in such deaths in 2012, but the rise runs counter to other recent downward trends in overall child mortality.
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Laurels to Friday’s official dedication of the Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge. Although the bridge become fully operational in May, the ceremony provided a final flourish to the project as the Veterans Day weekend begins. While getting the I-85 bridge project under way wasn’t a war, it did require some legislative battles and a lot of politicking from local as well as state officials. Now, the new bridge proudly stands as a safe, efficient link in the interstate highway system and a lasting tribute to our veterans.