Roundup

Rodney Cress, Joe Girdler, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx and City Councilwoman Karen Alexander pose at the kickoff for the annual campaign for the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.
Rodney Cress, Joe Girdler, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx and City Councilwoman Karen Alexander pose at the kickoff for the annual campaign for the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

SALISBURY — More than 120 members of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce turned out for the kickoff of the Total Resource Campaign.

The annual effort is not just a membership drive. Volunteers also work on generating what’s called “non-dues income,” or money from sponsorships, advertising and registration fees for programs like Leadership Rowan.


Dari Caldwell, president of Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, is leading the effort, which launched Aug. 11 and wraps up Sept. 12.

Novant Health Rowan Pediatrics hosted the kickoff, also attended by U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx.

Team captains are Donna Barnes “Donna’s Dollar Divers;” Ted Goins “Dragon Slayers;” Lynda Lefler “Rowan Wave Riders;” Tom Loeblein “USS Victory;” Ken Mowery “Wellness Monsters;” Antwaun Thompson “The Admirals;” Maia Smith “Maia’s Angels;” Janet Spriggs “Janet’s Shark Tank” and Nancy Wyrick “Strokes of Genius.”

Captains challenged each other in a mini boat race, and Spriggs, Mowery and Loeblein took home top honors.

Prospective chamber members are invited to attend Business After Hours at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 8, at no charge.

For more information on the chamber’s campaign, contact a team captain or the chamber at 704-633-4221, info@rowanchamber.com, or www.rowanchamber.com.

Griffin’s Guitars moving to new location

SALISBURY — Griffin’s Guitars in downtown Salisbury is moving to a new location, but the movers will not have far to travel.

The new storefront is just three doors down at 121 S. Main St.

The guitar shop will be closed this weekend and Monday and reopen at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the new location. Regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

To contact the shop, which specializes in quality guitars, amplifiers, effects and accessories, call 704-798-5205 or go to www.griffinsguitars.com.

Murdock Institute hires MS researcher

KANNAPOLIS — The Murdock Research Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis has hired an employee dedicated to researching multiple sclerosis.

The nonprofit David H. Murdock Research Institute, which owns and operates the campus centerpiece Core Laboratory, has hired Dr. Sabrina Cote as a postdoctoral research fellow. Cote is researching multiple sclerosis under the direction of Dr. Simon Gregory, who leads the institute’s genomics laboratory.

Gregory, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke University and renowned multiple sclerosis researcher, said hiring Cote is a first step toward establishing disease-focused research at the institute, which is named for campus founder David Murdock.

Cote comes to the institute from Duke University, where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow studying genome instability and DNA recombination and repair, specifically related to cancer. Originally from Vancouver, Wash., she completed her undergraduate work at the University of Washington in Seattle and followed in her father’s footsteps when she attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying genetics and molecular biology.

“What I bring to the table is a really strong background in genetics,” Cote said. “As an academic scientist, I bring knowledge of experimental design, data analysis, writing papers and grants, all the things that are associated with trying to get the research established.”

Cote is analyzing data and looking for biomarkers in human blood that can be developed into tools that will help researchers, doctors and patients understand the underlying mechanisms of multiple sclerosis and the course of the disease, which can lead to new treatments.

Multiple sclerosis research in Kannapolis is based on data collected through the MURDOCK MS Study, which is still recruiting patients. Visit www.murdock-study.com to learn more about the study and how to enroll.

Southern States forms alliance with Kentucky Equine Research

Southern States Cooperative has formed a strategic alliance with Kentucky Equine Research, an equine nutrition, research and consulting company based in Lexington, Kent.

Southern States has a Salisbury location at 1710 Jake Alexander Blvd W. Contact the store at 704-636-4290.

Southern States sells the Legends line of horse feeds and will work with Kentucky Equine Research to improve the formulas. Initial plans for the Legends product line include adding micronutrient vitamin and trace mineral premixes.

Southern States will use Kentucky Equine Research’s digital technologies to provide technical nutritional support and valuable information to horse owners and managers, said Kentucky Equine Research President and Founder Dr. Joe Pagan.

As of Friday, Southern States field staff now have access to Kentucky Equine Research’s online ration evaluation software, which will allow them to advise equine customers on the nutritional requirements for their horses.

A new website has been developed for Legends customers with a library of articles, as well as links to electronic newsletters, videos and free downloadable reports to help horse owners, managers, trainers, and veterinarians keep up-to-date with the latest in equine care and management. Legends.equinews.com can be accessed directly or linked from SouthernStates.com.

Southern States is a Richmond, Va.-based farm supply and service cooperative established in 1923, which now has more than 200,000 farmer-members.

It is one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives.

This year is 70th anniversary of GI Bill

RALEIGH — This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the GI Bill.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is marking the anniversary by offering financial mortgage prevention help to veterans attending school under the GI Bill. It is a second step in less than a year to make the agency’s successful N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund more user-friendly for the state’s important military population.

Earlier, it ensured that returning veterans enrolled in vocational training or rehabilitation programs would be eligible.

Designed to help North Carolina homeowners recover from job loss and other temporary hardships, the fund has made mortgage payments for more than 16,000 homeowners while they look for employment or retrain. Funds are available to assist an additional 4,000.

North Carolina is home to 10 percent of all active-duty military personnel in the U.S. — 115,000, the most per-capita of any state — and more than 771,000 veterans.

“The transition from military to civilian life can be a challenge,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “It’s especially important that veterans be able to participate fully in these foreclosure prevention benefits.

“Our agency is working closely with the VA and veterans groups across the state to make sure military families know that help is available for those who need it.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for up to 36 months ($36,000) while the homeowner looks for work or completes a job search or training program. It was created in North Carolina in 2010 because of high unemployment.

The assistance is offered as a zero-interest, deferred loan, with no payments due as long as the homeowner lives in the home. Veterans who study on the GI Bill or participate in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of their household income.

To qualify for assistance through the fund, a veteran must be separated from service on or after Jan. 1, 2008, provide a DD214, have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent on mortgage payments to qualify.

Veterans and civilians can apply for assistance from the fund through more than 40 HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide or by going online at www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov. Information is available on the website or by calling 1-888-623-8631.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed nearly 215,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.

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