Darts and laurels

  • Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 12:28 a.m.

Laurels to the parents and students who organized an appreciation luncheon for Salisbury High teachers and staff in the aftermath of a campus shooting. It’s the sad reality of our times that that teachers and school personnel, as well as students, may find themselves in the line of fire. It’s true in the literal as well as figurative sense where teachers too often are caught in fusillades between warring political agendas. As organizers of the luncheon noted, the SHS staff responded to the shooting with professionalism and compassion, putting students’ well-being first. The luncheon was a heartfelt gesture of thanks, but here’s a question the Rowan-Salisbury community at large might consider: Should it take an emergency for us to make teachers more aware that we appreciate the difficult job they do every day?

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Dart to higher heating bills resulting from the recent winter storm and cold weather. With gas and electricity usage rising, many customers will have higher utility payments in the next billing cycle. Meanwhile, propane costs have also risen, with the average price up $1 a gallon or more, suppliers report. Some letter writers to the Post have questioned whether such increases violate state anti-gouging laws in effect during an emergency. The law describes violations as “unreasonably excessive” increases beyond those that vendors are allowed to pass along. Customers who believe they are the victims of illegal price hikes should submit complaints to the N.C. Department of Justice. You can find more information online at http://www.ncdoj.gov/ or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

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Laurels to lower college tuition rates — or at least a reprieve from annual increases. Give the University of North Carolina governing board a round of applause for following through on its earlier pledge to hold down future hikes. The board voted Friday to keep tuition costs at the current level for in-state students, with non-resident students looking at 6 percent hikes at most campuses.

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Dart to an online scam targeting U.S. military members for identity theft — as if those defending the nation needed another enemy. Officials with the Better Business Bureau said the fraudulent “My Army Benefits” site had been taken offline, but military members should be on the lookout for copycat con artists who may attempt something similar through bogus emails or calls trying to obtain private data such as Social Security numbers and account passwords. The Army’s official website is “MyArmyBenefits” at myarmybenefits.us.army.mil.

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